[MARINE_BIOLOGY_INTERNATIONAL] Injured sea turtle recovering on Sanibel


Injured sea turtle recovering on Sanibel

Jul 19, 2012 4:48 PM EDT

A badly injured juvenile Kemp's Ridley sea turtle was found by the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve sea turtle staff on Monday floating near Cape Romano.

The turtle had been hit by a boat and was suffering from a severe shell fracture.

Collier County sea turtle biologists, Markus Henning and Maura Kraus, recovered the female turtle from Rookery Bay and transported her to Amanda Bryant, a sea turtle program coordinator with the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, who then transported her to the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW.)

Dr. Heather Barron and team at CROW were able to surgically repair the shell fracture by inserting screws into the shell and looping surgical wire around them in order to hold the separated pieces together.

"She had too much air inside of her and wasn't able to dive down into the water," Barron said. "It probably wouldn't have been too much longer that she would have survived so she's very lucky that somebody found her and brought her in."

The turtle is being kept in an enclosure while she recovers for the next four to six months.

"We want to give this little turtle every chance that we can. She's very bright and alert on the front end - it's just the very back end that isn't quite normal," Dr. Barron said.

She says she hopes the turtle regenerates feeling in her tail before she's released back into the wild.

"They're amazlingy hearty creatures. If you can get them over that initial trauma, they typically do pretty well," Barron said.


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