Stranding Date: August 2, 2019
Stranding Location: M.B. Miller County Pier
Stranding Circumstances: hooked
On August 2, Gulf World Marine Institute (GWMI) received word that a loggerhead sea turtle had been accidentally hooked at the M.B. Miller County Pier. The pier staff safely secured the animal until a volunteer could arrive, which meant they left the fishing line trailing from his/her mouth. It is important when rescuing sea turtles that members of the public leave the gear on the animal, and allow the trained professionals to remove it once the animal has been rescued. When he/she was brought to the veterinary staff at GWMI, x-ray images showed them that he/she had two hooks lodged halfway down his esophagus.
The smaller of the two hooks was removed quickly. However, the second, larger hook would require a more complex procedure. After being stabilized for a week, Chester underwent a surgery called an esophagotomy to remove the hook safely. Once removed, the veterinary team was able to return Chester to his pool. The hook itself measured over 5 cm long, which is very large for a young loggerhead’s mouth! Currently Chester continues to improve post-surgery, and will be given a solid diet once the surgical site has healed.
Thank you to the M.B. Miller County Pier staff for their cooperation in reporting Chester to us!