Rare turtle free in Florida

Before returning to the sea, “Harris” had a satellite transmitter implanted — she’s carrying eggs, nurses at the hospital discovered.
Image: dpa

Divers had discovered the sea creature on a shipwreck – with a fish bait in the shoulder. Now it could be nursed back to health. The turtle belongs to an endangered species.

EAn injured hawksbill sea turtle found off the Florida coast has been nursed back to health and is swimming in the sea again.

Photos from the Florida Keys News Bureau showed the endangered female being lifted into the water from a boat in a sanctuary near the Keys Island chain in the far south of the state on Wednesday (local time) and then submerged.

Divers discovered the rare marine animal almost two weeks ago on a shipwreck off Key Largo – with a fishing lure deep in their shoulders. Before she returned to the sea, the female turtle, christened “Harris,” had a satellite transmitter implanted — she carries eggs, as nurses at the island chain’s turtle hospital discovered.

“It will be exciting if we possibly learn where she will lay her eggs,” said Bette Zirkelbach, the hospital’s director. The nest behavior of the turtles on the Keys Islands is still relatively unexplored.

With a weight of 171 pounds – about 77 kilograms – “Harris” is also unusually large, said Zirkelbach. Normally, according to the literature, the rare hawksbill turtles weigh up to 150 pounds. She estimated the age of the turtle to be “well over 50”.

Florida, USA: Rescued female hawksbill sea turtle is released.

Image: dpa

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