Every year the Turtle Hospital saves hundreds of endangered sea turtles from certain death. Boat propellers, discarded fishing line, commercial fishing traps, garbage, and naturally occurring diseases have all resulting in declining numbers of these ancient sea creatures.
This past Monday, Turtle Hospital staffer responded to a unique situation just south of the Bahia Honda Bridge. Captain Keith Daniels of Trouble spotted a 500 lb Leatherback unable to submerge. According to Turtle Hospital Director Ryan Butts, the turtle was dragging two traps, but the injuries were not catastrophic.
“After we cut her free, she sat there along side of the boat for at least two minutes while she allowed us to pet her head and shell,” reported Butts. “After two minutes, she had enough and took off like lightning.”
This is only the third Leatherback rescue in 25 years for the Turtle Hospital. To schedule a tour or report a sea turtle in distress, call (305) 743-2552. For more info surf over to www.turtlehospital.com. The Turtle Hospital is located at MM48.5 (gulf) in Marathon.
Pictured: Turtle Hospital staffer Andy Dobrowolski with a 500 lb leatherback turtle rescued earlier this week.