AP NEWS

Turtle returned to ocean after recovering from spear attack

November 1, 2019
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In this photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, Bette Zirkelbach, right, manager of the Florida Keys-based Turtle Hospital, and spectators watch as "Splinter," a federally protected green sea turtle, crawls to the Atlantic Ocean Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, in Key West, Fla. The 150-pound reptile was rescued off Key Largo, Fla., Sept. 7, 2019, with a spear shot into its neck and was transported to the hospital where a veterinarian surgically removed it. (Rob O'Neal/Florida Keys News Bureau via AP)
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In this photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, Bette Zirkelbach, right, manager of the Florida Keys-based Turtle Hospital, and spectators watch as "Splinter," a federally protected green sea turtle, crawls to the Atlantic Ocean Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, in Key West, Fla. The 150-pound reptile was rescued off Key Largo, Fla., Sept. 7, 2019, with a spear shot into its neck and was transported to the hospital where a veterinarian surgically removed it. (Rob O'Neal/Florida Keys News Bureau via AP)

KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) — A federally protected green sea turtle was released in the Florida Keys after recovering from a spear shot into its neck.

The 150-pound (68-kilogram) female, dubbed “Splinter,” returned to the Atlantic Ocean on Friday at Higgs Beach in Key West.

The turtle was rescued off Key Largo Sept. 7 entangled in a commercial fishing trapline. The reptile was transported to the Middle Keys-based Turtle Hospital in Marathon, where a veterinarian surgically removed the 3-foot-long (1-meter-long) spear.

Hospital personnel also provided additional treatment, which included wound care, broad-spectrum antibiotics and a diet of natural sea grass, green vegetables and seafood.

Several Florida Keys businesses have joined with the hospital to pledge a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever speared the turtle.