Home Animals Turtle Hospital Vet Removes Eel From Turtle (Video)

Turtle Hospital Vet Removes Eel From Turtle (Video)


 Like a scene out of a horror movie, a veterinarian removed an eel from the body cavity of a loggerhead sea turtle Tuesday at the Turtle Hospital in the Florida Keys.

It took Dr. Brooke Burkhalter three hours Tuesday to complete the unusual procedure to remove a goldspotted snake eel from “Shelmore,” a subadult turtle that had been rescued Sept. 18 off the Florida Keys by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Burkhalter was shocked when she removed the eel. She and other Turtle Hospital officials believed the X-rays showed a severely infected turtle shell gland and not an eel.

Hospital officials don’t understand why the turtle consumed the two-foot-long eel as sea turtles don’t normally eat them.

They also discovered that the eel had eaten through the turtle’s intestinal tract, before its death, to get to the body cavity.

Tuesday evening, hospital officials listed the turtle’s condition as “critical,” though it was swimming in a recovery tank.

The Turtle Hospital opened more than 31 years ago as the world’s first state-licensed veterinary sea turtle hospital. The facility, equipped with three “turtle ambulances” for patient transport, has treated and rehabilitated more than 1,700 injured sea turtles and assisted scores of hatchlings gone astray after exiting their nests.

[vc_message message_box_style=”outline” message_box_color=”blue”]FloridaKeysNewsBureau release posted on SouthFloridaReporter.com, Sept. 26, 2018

Video by Florida News Bureau[/vc_message]