Four sea turtles have tumors removed from eyes

The reptiles were treated Thursday for fibropapilloma, a herpes-like virus

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MARATHON, Fla. - Four juvenile green sea turtles have returned to the Florida Keys-based Turtle Hospital after a Miami veterinary ophthalmologist surgically removed cauliflower-like tumors from their eyes.

The reptiles were treated Thursday by Dr. Lorraine Karpinski, who is pioneering techniques to treat turtles' eyes afflicted with fibropapilloma, a herpes-like virus affecting sea turtles around the world.

Karpinski has also prescribed a human anti-cancer medication compounded into eye drops being applied to the turtles' eyes to prevent tumors' re-growth.

A fifth turtle named Hook, who has received the drug for the past month, was examined by Karpinski, who said the medication appears to be working.

If Hook can remain fibropapilloma-free for a year, he can be released.

Hospital officials say turtles without vision cannot be freed because they have little chance to survive.

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