back to marine science
story of La Caretta Grande
On Tuesday April
18, 2006, we were having our staff meeting and discussing the
upcoming Turtle Day event. We were all wishing that we could keep
with the turtle day tradition of releasing a sea turtle back into
the wild at the end of the day. Unfortunately, out of the 17 sea
turtles we had in rehabilitation at the facility, none were ready to
go home yet. Well, be careful what you wish for, you just might get
it – in the form of a 270lb female loggerhead sea turtle.
That evening, we picked up
an adult female loggerhead from Port Canaveral that had ingested a
long line hook. We took her back to the science center, placed her
in a tub for the night and set up our plan for removal of the hook
the following day. We called in the makers of the ARC dehooking
device to come down and help to remove the hook the next morning.
This was an extremely large turtle and was going to take all the
help we could get.
Wednesday morning we called
in the cavalry, the Ponce Inlet Fire Department, to come help handle
this large sea turtle. She was weighted, blood was taken and
radiographs were performed to determine the location of the hook –
right in the center of her throat. It was also noted that she was
carrying eggs and needed to returned back to the wild as soon as
The hook was successfully
removed and determined to be an illegal 13/0 hook on 700lb. line, a
set up normally used for shark fishing. It appeared that the hook
was a couple months old and was decaying inside the turtles throat.
We administered antibiotics to help with any infection that this
hook had caused.
She was placed back into the tub and offered some squid, mackerel
and sardines. After a couple of minutes, she started to eat some of
the food and continued to eat small amounts throughout the day.
We all couldn’t of hoped for a better and smoother outcome.