Hooked loggerhead turtle released on Sanibel
An adult female loggerhead sea turtle – the largest of the hard-shelled turtles and frequent nester on Southwest Florida beaches – was released from the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife today after it was accidentally caught by an angler.
Loggerheads have very powerful jaws used for crushing their prey, items such as crabs, mussels, clams and other mollusks. After the 220-pound turtle inadvertently swallowed a baited line on Captiva on Aug. 1, the fisherman immediately contacted authorities. Staff from the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation soon arrived, and the turtle was transported to CROW so that the hook could be removed safely without causing additional damage or loss of fingers.
When it arrived to the wildlife hospital, veterinarians sedated turtle. They were then able to remove the hook, which had embedded in the corner of its mouth. After recovering from the sedation and a brief period for observation, the turtle was cleared for release. It was tagged with flipper tags and a microchip before it was taken to Tarpon Bay Beach on Sanibel and released into the Gulf of Mexico.
If you accidentally hook a sea turtle, do not cut the line and release the turtle. Reel it in slowly and immediately contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 888-404-FWCC (3922) or CROW at 239-472-3644 Ext. 222. To learn more about what to do if you accidentally hook a bird, visit “http://www.MindYourLine.org”>www.MindYourLine.org.
For more information or to donate to CROW, visit www.CROWClinic.org or its Facebook page.