Sick, endangered sea turtle responds to treatment

Sick sea turtle shows improvement in Fla. Keys

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MARATHON, Fla. - The veterinarian treating an egg-laden hawksbill sea turtle -- airlifted from the U.S. Virgin Islands to the Florida Keys-based Turtle Hospital -- says the reptile is responding positively to medication.

After reviewing the latest blood tests Wednesday, Dr. Doug Mader said the 123-pound turtle remained in guarded condition but was improving. He said when he first examined the turtle Sunday, 80 percent of its white blood cells were deemed "toxic." That figure, Mader said, is now at 20 percent.

Mader also noted that swelling around the turtle's eyes had diminished and the animal was much more active, swimming around in a shallow recovery pool.

He said some 25 eggs have been laid and he was awaiting delivery of a hormone to induce the turtle to deposit remaining eggs.

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