It appears that SpaceX is not only looking to bring humanity to Mars; Elon Musk’s private space firm is also intent on keeping the wildlife near its Boca Chica site as safe as possible. This was recently highlighted by Elon Musk when he responded to an update about the situation of numerous sea turtles in Boca Chica.
Texas is currently being hit by frigid weather and blackouts, a dangerous combination for animals like sea turtles, which have a tendency to get cold-stunned. When sea turtles get cold-stunned, they essentially get paralyzed, preventing them from lifting their heads out of the water to breathe. It is then up to organizations such as Sea Turtle, Inc. to ensure that the endangered animals are retrieved from the beach and kept safe.
Unfortunately, Sea Turtle’s Boca Chica facility has been hit with Texas’ power outages, and it happened at a time when there are hundreds, if not thousands, of sea turtles that were in dire need of shelter. This situation was eventually brought to Elon Musk’s attention on Twitter, and it prompted a quick response from the CEO. According to Musk, the SpaceX team is going to help in the sea turtle rescue efforts.
What is quite remarkable is that SpaceX’s employees in Boca Chica are actually trained to handle cold-stunned sea turtles. This was something mentioned by Wendy Knight, executive director of Sea Turtle Inc. in a statement to ValleyCentral News. “SpaceX has now trained its employees to react during cold-stunned events,” she said in a previous statement.
SpaceX Boca team is helping save the turtles
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 16, 2021
Elaborating further, Knight added that SpaceX actually allows them to use its drone equipment and ATVs to patrol for turtle activity before and after every launch. SpaceX was also in constant communication with Sea Turtle Inc. before and during the Boca Chica site’s construction. Gilberto Salinas, the former executive vice president of the Brownsville economic development council, shared some insights about the planning involved in the buildout of SpaceX’s Starship facility.
“We knew that the project was going to have to go public but essentially it was going to have to go through a public hearing, two separate federal public hearings. It would be required to have special lighting that they would have to use at night that way whenever the baby sea turtles would hatch, they wouldn’t get disoriented and think that the SpaceX—or operation’s lights is the moon,” he said.
Elon Musk did not specify exactly what type of help SpaceX’s employees will provide to the ongoing sea turtle rescue efforts, though considering their training, it seems safe to assume that the private space firm’s workers would be aiding in retrieving the animals and transporting them to facilities like Sea Turtle Inc. Hopefully, Elon Musk’s other company, Tesla, could also step in and provide some aid, perhaps in the form of battery storage units like the Powerwall, which could help Sea Turtle Inc. keep its lights on despite the power outages in the area.
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