The sub-adult reptile, weighing 46 pounds, was pulled from the water and moved to the hospital’s emergency room.
Hospital manager Bette Zirkelbach said the turtle was entangled in fishing line and is missing its front left flipper. She surmised the missing flipper was severed by the line or self-amputated due to injuries caused by the line.
Zirkelbach said the turtle also has about 10 Fibropapilloma tumors on it. The cauliflower-like tumors are caused by a herpes-like virus that can affect turtles around the world.
Hospital staff extracted blood for testing, taken X-rays and is evaluating alternatives for treatment. The turtle is listed in critical condition.
It’s the second time since the hospital opened in 1986 that a turtle in need has swum into the facility’s small harbor. On March 29, 2009, a loggerhead was admitted for an intestinal infection and released 10 weeks later.
On the Net
The Turtle Hospital: http://www.turtlehospital.org