Hundreds of cold-stunned sea turtles returned to Gulf of Mexico

(KRIS via NBC News Channel)

Nearly 400 sea turtles affected by frigid temperatures in Texas returned to the wild.

The green tortoises were nursed back to health by the Padre Island National Seashore in Corpus Christi.

Hundreds came out to Malaquite Beach to bid farewell to the rehabilitated reptiles.

So far, close to 2,100 cold-stunned turtles have been found in coastal waters along the state since Jan. 1.

"What happens with these sea turtles is when they get cold-stunned, it slows their metabolism down to the point where they can almost not move. So you see them sometimes floating at the surface. They are almost inactive which makes them very vulnerable to predators," said Tom Schmidt with the Texas State Aquarium.

Once rescued they were taken to to the rehab facility where their body temperature were warmed up back to normal.

Green sea turtles are considered endangered species, however, their population is continuing to grow.

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