Ragged Rhonda was found entangled in fishing line and floating off Ragged Edge Motel in Islandmorada by Bridgette Sabio, Laurie Veres, and Marcus Escaute. The fishing line wrapped around her front and rear left flippers, which was removed by Mariella Care prior to her arrival at the hospital, was also hanging out of her mouth and cloaca. She was covered in barnacles and is extremely emaciated. An x-ray of Rhonda revealed there were no fishing hooks or any metal objects in her system and she does not have any obvious impactions or blockages at this point. We are very thankful for that. After her x-ray we needed to remove as much of the fishing line from her mouth as possible, so we opened her beak as wide as we could and cut the line as far back as possible. In order to ensure that the line didn’t regress back into her system from the rear, we knotted the fishing line with a bottle cap; as the line passes through her system we will remove it and replace the cap as needed.
Ragged Rhonda is very fragile and this recovery process will take quite some time. We are concerned that the fishing line may entangle her GI tract as it passes through her system but we will do all we can to prevent that from happening. She is being fed squid stuffed with lactulose, fiber, and beano to help the line pass efficiently through her system. We will keep you posted on her improvement as time passes.
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