Yesterday morning, SeaWorld Orlando’s senior veterinarian performed surgery on a rescued sea turtle, removing a large fishing hook from its throat.
The animal was found by the Inwater Research Group - an organization committed to the research and conservation of coastal species and habitats – who also assisted in the animal’s transport.
The turtle, a sub-adult weighing approximately 100 pounds, was rescued from the intake canal at the St. Lucie Power Plant in St. Lucie County, Fla.
The turtle arrived at SeaWorld Orlando Sunday night (February 26) and underwent surgery yesterday morning following blood work procedures…
…and x-rays to determine the overall health of the turtle.
After receiving anesthesia, the veterinary team used a dog bone to keep the turtle’s mouth open for surgery.
Senior veterinarian Dr. Lara Croft performed the surgery with assistance from SeaWorld Orlando’s aquarium staff members.
According to Dr. Croft and team, the 4-inch-long hook was successfully removed.
The turtle’s behavior will continue to be monitored over the next several weeks, but is doing well following the procedure.
The SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund does their part to save turtles through multiple projects. You too can help prevent turtle injuries, by making sure you dispose of fishing line and all trash properly. Also, simply by contacting authorities if you see a sea turtle’s nest, you are helping to protect this threatened species.
So far this year, SeaWorld Orlando has rescued nine sea turtles. It is the intent that upon recovery, this animal will be released back into its natural environment. In fact, since the sea turtle rescue program began more than 1,500 sea turtles have been rescued and more than 1,000 have been released back to the wild. For 45 years, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment has helped animals in need -- ill, injured and orphaned. More than 20,000 animals have been rescued by our experts. SeaWorld’s animal rescue team is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.