A 200-pound Loggerhead sea turtle named “Pal” was released off Marathon in the Florida Keys Thursday on Earth Day.
The adult male turtle convalesced for a month at the Florida Keys-based Turtle Hospital after four fishermen discovered him floating off the Lower Keys, unable to dive because of an impacted digestive system from eating too much seaweed, according to hospital officials.
Hospital staff diagnosed an infection and treated the turtle with antibiotics and Medimusal, a fiber-based laxative.
“I think when you take a turtle that’s going to live another 80, 90 years, we have to take care of the ocean, we have to take care of these beaches, because there has to be a place for that turtle to come back to,” said Richie Moretti, the hospital’s founder and director.
“When you have a nest of 100 (turtles), only one makes it, he said. “So we celebrate that turtle on Earth Day, because it’s the little things that make the environment.”
Situated in Marathon, the Turtle Hospital opened in 1986 and is the only licensed veterinary hospital in the world dedicated to the treatment of sea turtles.