800-pound leatherback sea turtle released back into the wild

A giant leatherback sea turtle first spotted on Collier County’s shores was released back into the Gulf of Mexico Thursday afternoon after being evaluated by scientists in Sarasota.

Blood tests conducted by Mote Marine Laboratory showed the turtle, nicknamed Lizzy, was not suffering from any illness, officials said.

Though scientists would have liked to keep the turtle for further testing, the weather patterns and the difficulty of accommodating a massive leatherback turtle forced them to act in the animal’s best interest and release it as soon as possible, Mote veterinarian Andy Stamper said in a prepared statement.

Shortly after 2 p.m., officials released the 5-foot-long, 787-pound turtle from a boat more than 20 miles off St. Petersburg.

Read full story HERE.

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About Candace M Hansen

Wildlife advocate, conservationist and environmentalist.
This entry was posted in Turtles & Tortoises and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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