Zoo Miami euthanizes green sea turtle paralyzed in boat strike

Zoo: Turtle’s spinal cord severed

Injured sea turtle (Zoo Miami)

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Staff at Zoo Miami euthanized an injured green sea turtle Thursday left partially paralyzed by a boat strike, according to a zoo news release.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers found the 80-pound female sea turtle floating in a Coral Gables waterway May 28 and transferred her to the zoo for treatment, the release states. The turtle had severe lacerations to the top of her shell and appeared to be partially paralyzed.

Following wound treatment, zoo staff performed a CT scan Wednesday confirming their “worst fears,” the release said. The injuries severed the turtle’s spinal cord, leaving her with no chance to survive on her own.

Zoo staff said they chose to euthanize the turtle to prevent further suffering.

“The team had put in many hours treating this individual in hopes that she could recover, so this diagnosis was devastating,” the news release said. “However, they are trying to take some comfort in knowing that they made every effort to help this animal and have ended her suffering in a humane manner.”

The zoo asked boaters to be on the lookout for sea turtles and other endangered and threatened species to avoid future incidents.

Zoo Miami also updated the public on the condition of “Baymax,” a 388-pound loggerhead turtle rescued following a shark attack off the coast of Port St. Lucie. According to the zoo, Baymax is healing well after surgery and said she had a good prognosis for a future return to the wild.

About the Author:

Chris Gothner joined the Local 10 News team in 2022 as a Digital Journalist.