All eyes are on the southern US states, most of all, on Texas. A powerful winter storm has brought everything to a standstill this week, leaving millions without power, and has claimed the lives of at least 21 people in the area.
But this dark and frigid time is also a time of bravery and compassion. Texans are bringing their pets, farm animals, and wild animals inside their homes to protect them from the icy cold and to keep them warm. They’re also rushing to save sea turtles. If this isn’t proof that our true humanity shines through in the toughest times, I don’t know what is.
People shared photos of the efforts to help animals after journalist Yashar Ali started up a Twitter thread. Have a scroll down to see how people are lending a helping hand to our animal companions and how the cold unites us in our love for one another. Remember to upvote the pictures that you think are great representations of our kindness.
Image credits: yashar
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I’ll say it upfront: even though the situation is dire and people are suffering, I’m proud of those who are taking care not just of themselves, but also other living beings. Not to sound too sappy, but I believe it’s our capacity to look beyond just ourselves when we feel threatened that is the true spirit of humankind.
And the cold-affected states are showing that their legendary southern hospitality goes deeper and further than others would think.
Caught this little fighter just in time.
Image credits: kayelacole
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Texans, as well as Americans from other southern states, were encouraged to bring their farm animals inside during the cold snap. I know it’s a very difficult time, but the photos of the animals making themselves at home inside really do restore a part of your humanity.
The cold has had a powerful negative impact not just on the residents of the southern US, but also on the livestock industry. Power outages disrupted supply chains and animals were left running short on food and water.
Image credits: bekahs_backyard
Freezing to death. Some of us quite literally.
Image credits: tinyhoovesrescuetexas
It’s not just farm animals that are getting lots of love from the southerners. People are also rescuing thousands of sea turtles in Texas that were stunned by the cold. The temperature dropped to just -14 degrees F (-10 degrees C), the first time this happened since 1989. Temperatures rose to the 40s on Wednesday (around 4 degrees C) are expected to rise slowly and reach the 60s (over 15 degrees C) by the weekend.
You know its cold in Texas, when these things let you to pick them up.
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Texans, volunteering with ‘Sea Turtle, Inc.,’ are taking the sea turtles to the South Padre Island convention center. Ed Caum, executive director of the South Padre Island Convention and Visitors Bureau told the Associated Press about the amount of help people are providing: “Every 15 minutes or less there’s another truck or SUV that pulls up.”
Image credits: MananaZoo
Image credits: BlueHeronFarmTX
According to Caum, people sometimes bring in just a single turtle or a pair. Meanwhile, others drive in with their trailers loaded up with 50, 80, and over 100 turtles. Wholesome? Wholesome! If this were an adventure book, the turtles would owe their saviors a (cold) blood debt and later arrive in humankind’s greatest moment of need (we’re still waiting for the alien invasion and zombie apocalypse that 2020 promised, remember).
Image credits: Law_Mana
We are grateful for the support of the community (near and far), City of South Padre Island leadership, and City of South Padre Island Convention Center for responding to our emergent needs. Tonight’s count is over 1,700 cold – stunned sea turtles being housed at the facility and the City of South Padre Island Convention Center. We ask the public to shop our amazon wishlist and to donate to our cause. Three resident sea turtles have already been removed from the tanks tonight and are inside the education center. We will be needing to move the other two residents soon if the power is not restored. Staff, volunteers and community are working tirelessly to provide critical care for these magnificent creatures.
Image credits: seaturtleinctx
Caum confirmed to AP that they’ve “collected” more than 3.5k sea turtles so far. That number might get higher. However, Caum stressed the sad reality that not every turtle will be able to be saved: “We know we’re going to lose some.”
San Antonio Zoo moves animals during winter storm.
Image credits: SanAntonioZoo
What they gathered today in South Padre.
Image credits: reddit.com
Hopefully, as the temperature in Texas continues to rise, the turtles will be able to be released back into the Gulf once it’s warm enough. “We’re trying to do the best we can to save as many turtles as possible,” Caum said, adding that they were able to keep the turtles warm once power to the convention center was restored.
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I converted my dining room into a spot for the animals for the ‘blizzard’ coming!
Image credits: tinyhoovesrescuetexas
What are your thoughts about people opening up their hearts and homes to animals? Would you do the same if there were any animals in need near you, dear Pandas? If any of you are in Texas or the southern states, what is the situation like in your local area? Let us know in the comment section. Stay warm!
Image credits: TheRunningMonk
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Image credits: PamDubier