The Turtle Hospital. Rescue, Rehab, Release.



A juvenile green sea turtle was found near Niles Channel by Summerland Key, floating. This small sea turtle, named Lucas by her rescuers, is afflicted with a virus called Fibropapilloma. Large tumors are growing around her rear flippers, leaving him immobile. Lack of movement leads to lack of ability to find food, so Lucas is also emaciated. Luckily, she already loves to eat squid heads and at this rate, she should gain weight in no time! Lucas will be held for several weeks until she is healthy enough for surgery. In a weakened state, surgery to remove these tumors is too dangerous. An endoscope will be scheduled soon to search for internal tumors.

Update August 31st 2009:

Lucas received an endoscope and no internal tumors were found. When performing this procedure we often look internally to determine sex and Lucas…is a girl! The large external tumors around her rear flippers were successfully removed and Lucas can again kick and move her rear flippers! Lucas will require at least one additional surgery to remove the many small external tumors scattered around her body.

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