A juvenile loggerhead sea turtle treated at the Florida Keys-based Turtle Hospital has been returned to the wild.
Charley was placed gently amid Sargassum seaweed some 25 miles off Marathon Friday morning. The reptile had been rescued 17 days earlier by a fisherman who saw it floating about 22 miles off the Middle Keys.
Charley was nurtured from a hatchling as part of a sea turtle conservation cooperative program between Jorge Tadeo Lozano University and Mundo Marino Aquarium in Santa Marta, Colombia, and was released off Colombia June 9, 2012. Experts believe the turtle traveled some 2,000 miles from there to reach waters off the Keys.
Officials at the Turtle Hospital said the reptile had ingested plastic, which caused its digestive system to become impacted.