Turtle released after swallowing fisherman's hook

Published: Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 9:33 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 9:33 p.m.

ISLAMADORA — A loggerhead sea turtle that swallowed a fisherman's baited hook has been returned to the ocean off the Florida Keys following successful surgery.

About 100 spectators cheered as the 145-pound turtle nicknamed Sandy slipped out of a fiberglass washtub and into the water Saturday.

The loggerhead sea turtle is classified by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries Service as a threatened species.

The turtle was hooked by an angler fishing from a bridge last Sunday. Instead of breaking the line and letting the turtle swim away with the hook deep inside its mouth, the fisherman brought the reptile to shore and contacted The Turtle Hospital in Marathon.

The hospital's veterinarian removed the hook and, following antibiotic therapy, the turtle was deemed healthy for release.

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