MIAMI (CBSMiami/CNN) – A green sea turtle is recovering after having a three-foot-long spear removed from its neck at The Turtle Hospital in Marathon.
X-rays of the 150-pound, sub-adult turtle, named Splinter, showed the large stick spanned more than half the turtle’s body, Turtle Hospital Manager Bette Zirkelbach told CNN affiliate WPEC.
All species of sea turtles are threatened or endangered. They are protected under the United States Endangered Species Act of 1973 and Florida’s Marine Turtle Protection Act.
“Human activities have tipped the scales against the survival of these ancient mariners,” the World Wildlife Fund says. “Slaughtered for their eggs, meat, skin, and shells, sea turtles suffer from poaching and over-exploitation. They also face habitat destruction and accidental capture in fishing gear.”
A day after Splinter was rescued, he was “active and looking good in the water,” the hospital said.
Earlier this month, a Satellite Beach woman reported finding sea turtle eggs and hatchlings that had been burned. She said there was firewood next to all of the turtles.
Last June, a dead sea turtle was found in Biscayne National Park with a spear shaft through its head. The park called on the public for any information about the turtle, according to its Facebook post.
That same month, a woman was arrested in Miami Beach after she was seen stomping on a sea turtle nest, according to Miami Beach police.
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