Turtle returning to ocean after recovering from spear attack

KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) — A federally protected green sea turtle was released in the Florida Keys after recovering from a spear shot into its neck.

The 150-pound (68-kilogram) female, dubbed “Splinter,” returned to the Atlantic Ocean on Friday at Higgs Beach in Key West.

The turtle was rescued off Key Largo Sept. 7 entangled in a commercial fishing trapline. The reptile was transported to the Middle Keys-based Turtle Hospital in Marathon, where a veterinarian surgically removed the 3-foot-long (1-meter-long) spear.

Hospital personnel also provided additional treatment, which included wound care, broad-spectrum antibiotics and a diet of natural sea grass, green vegetables and seafood.

Several Florida Keys businesses have joined with the hospital to pledge a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever speared the turtle.

(Copyright (c) 2020 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)