EDINBURG, Texas – Two Border Patrol Agents patrolling the Padre Island National Seashore discovered a rare nesting Kemp Ridley turtle, the most endangered species of sea turtles.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, agents from Corpus were in the dunes when they found the female sea turtle in a catatonic state laying her eggs. The agents contacted the park service, and biologists responded immediately to recover the turtle eggs for incubation.

The recovery happened over the weekend.

In a statement released Tuesday, CBP said this is only the second Kemp Ridley sea turtle nest found this year, and the eggs would have gone unrecovered if not for the agents.

Last year, border agents and government biologists began “collaborative training on turtle detection and conservation on the Padre Island National Seashore.” Corpus Christi agents are continually conducting patrols on the seashore to combat alien and narcotics smuggling and are often the first to detect sea turtle landings.