Three green sea turtles were released by Turtle Hospital Staff on Thursday, July 15th, ten miles off shore in their natural habitat – sea grass beds! The turtles released had all been treated for fibropapilloma, a virus in which the infected turtle grows benign cauliflower-like tumors on their soft and hard tissues, both internally and externally. The Turtle Hospital held Fin, Diana and Sylah for one full year after their last fibropapilloma tumor removal procedure to ensure that the tumors would not return (the tumors have a 20% chance of regrowth during the first year). On the one year anniversary of their last surgery, the whole crew headed out to celebrate and say good-bye to the turtles that they’ve come to know and love.
Fin and Diana also had some other problems upon admittance that were treated during their stay at The Turtle Hospital. Fin was originally found south of Sebastian Inlet with a prop wound to the top of the head. Fin needed surgery to remove both his external fibropapilloma tumors and a piece of loose bone from the top of his head.
Diana was discovered floating at the Port of Palm Beach, where she was missing her front flipper and she was attached to a crab trap by fishing line! Diana had apparently swallowed the fishing line and it was visible sticking out of both her mouth and her cloaca. Though it might seem like a simple solution to pull the line out that is very dangerous for sea turtles because of the length and the numerous turns in the digestive track. Staff first tried to treat the turtle with vegetable oil (a laxative for some turtles at the hospital) and get her to naturally pass the stuck line. This non-invasive procedure did not work so Diana was put under the knife. Turtle Hospital Veterinarian Dr. Mader made a small incision at the hip, removed the intestines, and then removed the fishing line from five different points.
All three turtles are now happy, healthy and enjoying their life in the wild!
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