A female hawksbill sea turtle that was airlifted from the U.S. Virgin Islands died Tuesday morning while convalescing at the Turtle Hospital in the Florida Keys.
The reptile was named “Good Hope,” after a beach in St. Croix where it was discovered severely injured after Tropical Storm Isaac brushed the Virgin Islands. She was flown to the Turtle Hospital a month ago.
Hospital officials were surprised she had died and said she was responding to treatment, with improving blood tests and had been continuing to produce eggs.
She was scheduled to undergo surgery to repair lower eyelids Tuesday morning, but when hospital staff arrived to begin preparations, they discovered her deceased. Instead the hospital veterinarian has begun harvesting remaining eggs and staff is to incubate those deemed viable along with 61 others that are nestled in beach sand shipped from St. Croix.
After remaining eggs are harvested, a necropsy is to be performed.