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Rescued Sea Turtle Makes His Way To Las Vegas

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Richie Moretti, right, founder of the Florida Keys-based Turtle Hospital soothes OD, a 320-pound green sea turtle, as it is measured and examined at the hospital in Marathon, Fla. Because of an irreparable collapsed lung, the turtle cannot be released into the wild. It is scheduled to be loaded on a FedEx flight to Las Vegas early Thursday, July 25, and live out its life at the The Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Resort and Casino. (Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau)

Richie Moretti, right, founder of the Florida Keys-based Turtle Hospital soothes OD, a 320-pound green sea turtle, as it is measured and examined at the hospital in Marathon, Fla. Because of an irreparable collapsed lung, the turtle cannot be released into the wild. It is scheduled to be loaded on a FedEx flight to Las Vegas early Thursday, July 25, and live out its life at the The Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Resort and Casino. (Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau)

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FLORIDA KEYS (CBSMiami) – After months of care and recovery, a 320-pound rescued green sea turtle will make a 2,400-mile trip to his new home in Sin City.

OD is a 320-pound turtle that was found off the coast of off Key Largo in 2008 and will be sent, via FedEx, out to Las Vegas early Thursday morning.

OD, named after the boat that his rescuers were on, is believed to be about 50-years-old and has been under the care of staff and veterinarians at the Florida Keys-based Turtle Hospital for five years.

The turtle could not be released due to a collapsed lung.

While OD was being nursed back to health over the past several months, hospital staff looked around to find a new home for the turtle.

Requirements for the new habitat were that it had to be spacious and stimulating, even larger than the 100,000 gallon rehab pool that doubled as a home for OD.

Staff said they also needed the rehab pool for other turtles that may be ready for release.

The Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas offered to keep OD and had just enough space for him to live. Following a standard 45-day quarantine period, OD will be admitted to the facility’s 1.3-million-gallon aquarium where he will spend his “retirement” with other cared-for marine animals.

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