Injured sea turtle rescued at Florida Keys

Reptile swam into boat basin of Turtle Hospital

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Courtesy: Florida Keys News Bureau

MARATHON, Fla. - An injured green sea turtle was rescued after it swam into the boat basin of the Turtle Hospital in Marathon.

The reptile, weighing 46 pounds, was pulled from the water and taken to the hospital's emergency room.

Hospital manager Bette Zirkelbach said the turtle, named Yertle, was entangled in fishing line and missing its front flipper. Zirkelbach said the missing flipper was either severed by the line or self-amputated by injuries.

Hospital staff removed the fishing line from the turtle's body, but it seems Yertle might have ingested some of it. Doctors say the line might pass naturally through the turtle's digestive system or it may require surgery to remove.

"The prognosis for Yertle is guarded," Zirkelbach said. "He's in critical condition."

Doctors took blood for testing and ordered x-rays to evaluate treatment possibilities.

Zirkelbach said the turtle also has about 10 Fibropapilloma tumors. They are caulifower-like tumors caused by a herpes-like virus that can affect turtles around the world.

Yertle will remain in the hospital for treatment.

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