An ongoing effort to save a severely injured sea turtle at Gulf World Marine Institute, took a turn for the worse.
The Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle was brought to Gulf World on July 3rd after a fisherman found him in Port St. Joe.
"When he got here, he had some bleeding from that flipper. But he also had a line sticking out of his mouth. We opened up his mouth, and there was the hook...in his tongue," says Resident Veterinarian Lydia Staggs.
Fishing line amputated the flipper, causing a major loss of blood. A follow up x-ray revealed another hook, line and lead sinker inside the turtle's GI track, something Dr. Staggs determined called for surgery.
"Surgery on any reptile is very serious especially on a turtle just because of the anesthesia and what their body has to go through so removing hooks inside an animal is quite dangerous," says Staggs.
Gulf World officials say injuries like this are not that uncommon.
"We've had fishing hooks in their flippers. We've had them swallow hooks and lures. We've also had the PVC tape that little container, we've found that around turtles necks," says Secret Holmes-Douglas, with Gulf World Marine Institute.
With more consideration, these threats can be prevented.
"There are stations, you can dispose your fishing gear in that with your hooks. Just don't put that in the water because animals mistake that for food and it's easily ingested and causes complications," says Douglas.
Complications, that unfortunately led to this sea turtle's death Tuesday night. Doctors say even with out the surgery, the injuries would have most likely been fatal.