Sea turtle rescued from hook in Alabama died in Mississippi aquarium 8 days later

A loggerhead turtle returns to the ocean after nesting on Ossabaw Island, Georgia, in May 2021. The sea turtle featured in the story is not pictured. Georgia Department of Natural Resources via AP

  • A sea turtle died at the Mississippi Aquarium after being accidentally hooked up and rescued on October 7.

  • The turtle was hung from a fishing pier at a state park in Alabama and brought to the aquarium for treatment.

  • Veterinary Services found three hooks in the turtle’s stomach and small intestine after her death.

A sea turtle was found dead Friday a week after being rescued from an accidental hook and brought to the Mississippi Aquarium, the Associated Press reported.

Jacob Mitchum, a security guard at the Gulf State Park fishing pier in Gulf Shores, Ala., Where the loggerhead turtle was accidentally hooked, picked up the fishing rod and gently guided the turtle to a pier, reported the AP. Next, park manager Aubrey Bianco and assistant naturalists took the turtle to the Mississippi state border, where they met Dr. Sean Perry, an aquarium veterinarian, according to the report.

A representative from the Mississippi Aquarium did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

At 97 pounds, the turtle was anemic and protein deficient, according to veterinary services. Adult loggerheads typically weigh between 200 and 350 pounds, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. But he was not yet an adult, Alexa Delaune, vice president of veterinary services at the aquarium, told the AP.

After the turtle died, an examination revealed two more hooks piercing the turtle’s small intestine, which could have resulted in infection, Deluane said.

Another hook was anchored in his stomach, Deluane told the AP.

“The hook line extended into the small intestine and made them cluster together,” she told the AP. This blocked the turtle’s large intestine.

“Any one of these problems alone could kill an animal and it took care of them all,” she wrote in an email to the AP.

Duluane said the turtle’s shell was also likely damaged by a boat propeller and he had barnacles covering his head and body.

Before her death, veterinary services believed the turtle was female, according to the AP.

There are more loggerheads nesting in the United States than any other species, but they are also endangered on the west coast and threatened on the east coast and the Gulf of Mexico, the AP reported.

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