Brandy is the largest turtle we have ever treated at the Turtle Hospital. Brandy is a 350-pound Green sea turtle, and she is between 60 and 80 years old. It is very rare to see a Green this large in this part of the world. They can grow up to 500 pounds, however most of the Greens were harvested for turtle soup prior to the 1973 Endangered Species Act. The Endangered Species Act was passed only 35 years ago, therefore most Green sea turtles are under 35 or 40 years old.
Brandy came to the hospital with a severe flipper injury. She was found by fishermen about 50 miles west of Key West with two lobster trap buoy lines wrapped around her left front flipper. She was admitted to the Turtle Hospital on August 28th, 2007, and the flipper was amputated three days later. Although Brandy’s shoulder is healing as it should, she is still fighting off a major infection. We do expect her to make a full recovery, minus one flipper, and she will return to the wild soon. Turtles can survive while missing one flipper. Just like a three-legged dog, they adapt and learn to swim just fine with only three flippers remaining.
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