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Stranding Date: May 19, 2019
Stranding Location: M.B. Miller County Pier
Stranding Circumstances: hooked


On May 19, 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 he/she was safely brought up to the pier in a specially designed dip net. 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. In Hitch’s case, the treble hook he/she was hooked on in the mouth fell out when the animal was brought onto the pier. When the turtle was examined by the vet team, they found more hooks lodged in the esophagus and intestines on the x-ray images.
With GWMI surgical staff experiencing an increased workload, GWMI partnered with Gulfarium’s rescue program for aid. The sea turtle was transported to Gulfarium for a surgery to remove the esophagus hook. After the successful procedure, Hitch was returned to GWMI to continue treatment. The hooks in the intestine were left inside his/her body, as they appeared to be safely moving through his system. And soon enough, they were found in the habitat (meaning he/she had lost them by defecating!).
Hitch continues to get regular checkups from the veterinary staff. He/she is also eating and swimming well.
Thank you to the M.B. Miller County Pier staff for their cooperation in reporting Chester to us. Thanks also to the Gulfarium veterinary team for their assistance!


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