Sick Turtle Checks Self Into Hospital

loggerhead sea turtle ill photo

Photo: Corvette Diver via Flickr

A 73-pound loggerhead turtle materialized in the waters near the Turtle Hospital in Marathon, Florida on March 29. Loggerhead turtles are not common in the harbor. When hospital personnel first spied the turtle, they assumed it had gotten lost. After further examination, the staff observed that the sea-bound reptile had large barnacles on its shell and appeared to be emaciated, both signs of poor health. Hospital workers sprang into action. Dinghies were deployed and nets were wielded. For nearly an hour, there was no sign of the turtle. The Seasick (Septic) Sea Turtle
When the turtle finally surfaced after 45 minutes, it was dragged into the boat and taken to the hospital. The turtle, a female, was dubbed Kincaid. Her blood work revealed that she was septic. After a few weeks of antibiotics and treatment, Kincaid should make a full recovery. You can check for updates on her status at the Turtle Hospital's blog.

From Turtle Hospital blog:

This was by far the easiest rescue to date! If there was ever a case for evolution… this would seem to be evidence like no other – a sick animal arriving at the hospital on its own! Of course, we could only wish this were true.

Loggerheads are a Threatened Species
Loggerhead turtles are listed as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act. Commercial fishing, specifically artisanal fishing has had a hefty impact on loggerhead turtles. Environmental contamination is also listed among the top threats to marine turtles. Find out how you can help the sea turtles.

Kincaid "the Sick Sea Turtle's" Fate
Once her treatment is at an end, Kincaid will be released back into the harbor where she was found, just fifty feet from the hospital. The Turtle Hospital allows visitors, so if you're in the neighborhood, you can pay Kincaid a visit. She's certainly not shy.

More on Turtles
US Turtles Being Unsustainably Harvested for Asian Cuisine
Endangered Sea Turtles Face Death by a Thousand Hooks
Thousands of Sea Turtles Dead in Baja

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