A sea turtle, found on Carysfort Reef off of Key Largo, Florida, on Saturday, is recuperating after being impaled with a spear. As reported by CBS 12 news, the 150-pound turtle suffered a severe injury to the neck after being stabbed with a spear.
The turtle is receiving care at the Sea Turtle Hospital in Marathon. Hospital Manager Bette Zirkelbach tells the news agency that this is the second turtle to be injured with a spear this summer – the first turtle, found in June, did not survive being stabbed in the head.
Whoever hurt this turtle could face criminal charges. Zirkelbach told the news agency,
“All species of sea turtles in and around the United States are listed as threatened or endangered. They are protected under the US Endangered Species Act of 1973 and Florida’s Marine Turtle Protection Act. The person(s) responsible for this act could face civil penalties or criminal charges resulting in large fines and prison time.”
The turtle, dubbed Splinter, has undergone surgery to remove the 3-foot long spear from it body. Splinter is in “stable” but guarded condition. A $5,000 reward, to find and punish whoever is responsible, is being offered by the Turtle Hospital’s chairman of the board, Richie Moretti.
Anyone with information is asked to call (305) 743-2552 (callers can remain anonymous).
(Screenshots via CBS)
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