Hooked Loggerhead Turtle Released on Sanibel

provided to Santiva Chronicle

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 (CROW) after it was accidentally caught by an angler.

Loggerhead sea turtles 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 Saturday, Aug. 1 on Captiva Island, the fisherman immediately contacted authorities. Staff from the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) 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 and released back 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 (FWC) 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 www.MindYourLine.org.

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit, CROW relies on grants, generous donations from the public and funds raised through its AWC Visitor Education Center to provide the best care to its patients. CROW’s Visitor Education Center recently re-opened to visitors and its wildlife hospital remains open every day to receive and treat injured and orphaned animals in Southwest Florida. By visiting CROW or making a donation, you can help provide medical treatment, food and care for the thousands of patients admitted to the wildlife hospital each year. Donations can be made online by visiting www.CROWClinic.org or CROW’s Facebook page!

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