Date: May 27, 2022
Location: Navarre Beach Fishing Pier, Santa Rosa County, Florida
Circumstances: caught by recreational fisherman
“Killian” is one of many sea turtles that continue to be rescued after encountering hooks! Many come from the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier, like Killian. Fortunately for Killian, the local sea turtle team was able to use a specially-designed drop net for his rescue! The Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center stranding response team is always on call for accidental turtle-pier interactions! His name, “Killian”, refers to the first name of Captain Hook’s character in the show “Once Upon a Time”.
Killian’s recovery story is a sad, yet hopeful one. A total of 5 hooks were seen on his radiographs (X-ray images). These included a massive shark hook at the top of his esophagus, three circle/J-style hooks near his stomach, and an additional circle/J-style hook further down in his intestines. Hooks always present a challenge, and because of this, the veterinary staff had to spend multiple days removing those hooks. The large shark hook was removed from his mouth first. After a few days of recovery, a fully-sedated surgery was conducted to remove the three circle/J-style hooks near his stomach. This procedure, called an esophagotomy, involved making a cut or incision in his neck, through his esophagus, in order to try and pull the hooks and any fishing line out. The procedure, thankfully, was successful! After another few days of recovery, Killian was ready to be moved to a water habitat. It was while moving him that GWMI volunteers found the fifth and final hook; Killian had passed it in some feces while recovering from surgery!
Killian is now swimming well in a shallow water habitat. He has still not shown an interest in food, so along with regular medical examinations and medications, the GWMI team’s primary goal is to encourage him to eat.
Thank you to the public and other sea turtle organizations who helped to rescue Killian, namely the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center and the Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center.