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Dedicated volunteers rescue over 4,500 endangered sea turtles from frigid Texas waters

As record cold temperatures continue to impact Texas, causing power outages and water shortages across the state, a group of dedicated volunteers have taken it upon themselves to rescue thousands of endangered sea turtles from the waters of South Padre Island. The resort town in southern Texas rarely gets too cold long enough to threaten sea turtles, who need warm waters to survive. But with temps dipping down to freezing and still hovering in the 40s, something had to be done to keep the creatures warm.

So far, according to NPR, nearly 4,500 sea turtles have been brought indoors since Sunday by volunteers at organizations like Sea Turtle, Inc., a sea turtle rescue operation, and the South Padre Convention Center, where the overflow of turtles are being kept. Sea Turtle, Inc. lost power, but thanks to a commercial generator brought in by SpaceX, have been able to keep their facility warm enough for the rescued turtle patients who already resided there and the influx of new rescues before they got too full to take more.

Volunteers have been working hard to save as many sea turtles as possible, even though many of these people are struggling with losing electricity, heat, and water themselves. Using their own cars and trailers, they have been transporting the turtles to safety a dozen or two at a time.

Lara (@lara_hand) on Twitter shared a thread about how her retired mother spends winters volunteering Sea Turtle, Inc. and how they're rescuing turtles during the cold snap. Her photo of the back of her Subaru filled with sea turtles drives home the dedication of the volunteers who are working to save these creatures.


Lara said her mom's team rescued more than 1,000 turtles on the 15th, one of which was over 100 years old and around 350 pounds.

Here's a video her mom shared from the convention center, showing how many turtles were being stored there already.

And more photos of the incredible rescue operation.

Sea Turtle, Inc. told the Washington Post that during a normal winter, volunteers might rescue from a few dozen to a few hundred cold-stunned turtles, so this week's effort is truly extraordinary. When a turtle gets too cold, its heart rate lowers and its body becomes paralyzed. The hypothermic shock causes them to float above the water, where they are at risk of being struck by boats, attacked by predators, or even drowning.

However, the 3,500 turtles are not out of the woods yet. The "dry dock" conditions in the convention center are not ideal, and the issue of maintaining power is vital to keep temperatures warm enough for the turtles.

Ed Caum, executive director of the South Padre Island Convention and Visitors Bureau, told the AP that he hesitates to call the effort a rescue because "we know we're going to lose some." Temperatures may not rise enough for the turtles to be returned to the water until the weekend.

"We're trying to do the best we can to save as many turtles as possible," he said.

The polar vortex that has swept through Texas and the southern U.S. has already claimed at nearly two dozen human lives in addition to an unknown number of animals. One animal sanctuary in North Bexar County, Texas has sadly lost more than a dozen animals including at least one chimpanzee as well as monkeys, lemurs, and tropical birds.

The combination of severe weather and an insufficient power grid cut off from the rest of the country has created a perfect storm of suffering in Texas this week. Seeing people helping people and animals weather that storm is heartening. Let's just hope they won't have to keep it up for much longer.

Joy

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'Seeing a grown man get so excited about Capri Sun is extra wholesome.'

"Dee" the delivery guy stoked to get some Doritos.

Sometimes the smallest gesture can change someone’s day for the better, especially when that act of kindness lets them know their work is appreciated. Over the last few years, delivery drivers have done a fantastic job keeping people healthy during the pandemic, so Toni Hillison Barnett told News 11 that she and her husband started a tradition of leaving snacks for their drivers on the front porch.

The Barnetts, who live in Louisville, Kentucky, can see the drivers' reactions by recording them on their doorbell cameras. “I live for reactions like this to our snack cart! Thx to all of the delivery drivers out there! We appreciate you!” Toni wrote on an Instagram post.

Recently, one of the Barnetts’ delivery guys, a joyous fellow that we believe is known as Dee, went viral on TikTok because of his positive reaction to receiving some snacks during his deliveries. The snacks are tasty, no doubt. But it’s also wonderful to feel appreciated. After Toni posted the video, it received more than 100,000 views.

“Oh my God, you guys are the best, I gotta take a snapshot of this,” Dee can be heard saying in the video. “Oh, Capri Suns are my favorite, Yes!”

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In 2018 Chadwick Boseman returned to his alma mater to give an unforgettable speech

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Photo pulled from YouTube video

Chadwick Boseman delivers amazing commencement speech.

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Howard University alumnus Chadwick Boseman returned to the school to deliver its commencement address.

Speaking to Howard's class of 2018, Boseman channeled his inner T'Challa for an engaging, inspiring half hour filled with bits of wisdom for students and onlookers alike.

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He gave great performances in the musical comedy classics, "A Hard Days Night" and "Help!" while holding his own during The Beatles' notoriously anarchic press conferences. After he left the band in 1970, in addition to his musical career, he would produce the 1979 Monty Python classic, "The Life of Brian."

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Christopher Meloni responded to a fan's 'Law & Order: SVU' themed wedding invitation

Fans have some hilarious suggestions for how to make the most of his appearance.

Nothing beats a response from the Zaddy himself.

You may have heard of Christopher Meloni. You know, the actor who’s starred in 12 seasons of a little show called “Law & Order: SVU"? Whose character was so popular he got his own spinoff show? The originator of the “zaddy” moniker? Yeah, that guy.

Well, it’s no secret that the 61-year-old actor, and the show that put him on the map, has a loyal fan base. Recently, a couple, clearly dedicated to the show, decided to tie the knot with a series of “Law & Order”-themed wedding invitations. Naturally, they invited Detective Elliot Stabler himself.

“Chris, please come to my wedding,” tweeted Kelly Heenan, the bride-to-be. Along with her request, she posted a photo of her wedding invitation, which was a spitting image of the show's iconic poster.

The couple’s dedication apparently paid off, because Meloni replied with a simple “and do what?” This set off a hilarious slew of suggestions from fans, who knew exactly how to make the most of this proposed appearance.

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