Brevard Zoo’s Sea Turtle Healing Center Rescues 374-Pound Sea Turtle Entangled in Commercial Fishing Line
By Space Coast Daily // July 11, 2023
largest female green sea turtle patients in Center's 9 year history
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Brevard Zoo’s Sea Turtle Healing Center welcomed one of the largest female green sea turtle patients in its 9 year history recently.
The 374-pound female adult green sea turtle came to us on Friday, July 7, after being found with commercial fishing line wrapped around her neck and front flippers.
Named Jolene by our Healing Center team, she was found dragging the fishing line at Mark’s Landing in the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge.
The Sea Turtle Preservation Society responded to the sea turtle and was assisted by a number of different organizations in bringing this turtle up the beach and into a vehicle. Once she arrived at the Healing Center, more than eight Zoo staff and volunteers were needed to carry her inside.
Jolene was given a full exam with bloodwork, an ultrasound and an x-ray to determine the extent of her injuries.
The cuts caused by the fishing line have exposed muscle and nerves around her left front flipper. Her wounds were thoroughly cleaned, and a medical-grade fish skin graft was placed over some of the left flipper cuts in order to promote healing.
She was also found to be gravid or carrying eggs. She laid about 80 eggs on Monday, July 10, which were given to the University of Central Florida Marine Turtle Research Group (UCF MTRG) to be placed in a hand-dug chamber on the beach and monitored for development.
Our Healing Center staff found that Jolene had a tag in her flippers. She had been found nesting in 2007 by UCF researchers, who tagged her then.
Her condition is guarded. We hope to share more news on Jolene as she continues her rehabilitation with us!
If you find a sea turtle that appears to be in distress, contact Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 888-404-3922. You can also call the Sea Turtle Preservation Society at 321-206-0646 for strandings in Brevard County. Our Healing Center staff advise that you don’t remove any items on the sea turtle, including fishing line, unless they’re impeding their ability to breathe.