Loggerhead turtles are some of the most sublime sea-creatures that swim in the sea.
These majestic reptilians can range from 175lbs-400lbs and can vary from 33-48inches in length. Their large bodies are coupled with large heads that support very powerful jaws that can munch on hard-shelled prey such as sea urchins and clams.
Common nesting grounds for Loggerheads include nations around the Mediterranean like Greece, Turkey, Israel, and Libya.
Despite their captivating features, they are not hunted for their meat, in comparison to other types of sea turtles. Instead, they face the threat of coming into contact with fishing gear and plastic material from human waste that is considered harmful to their survival.
That’s why we decided to share this awesome story of a Loggerhead that survived a harrowing encounter with death.
A veterinary team at the Turtle Hospital in Marathon, Florida operated on a Loggerhead turtle nicknamed, “Chomper”.
The giant Loggerhead has been afflicted with a tumor on its right flipper that had grown to be malignant. The beast of a tumor was said to be larger than a basketball and weighing roughly 14.2 lbs.!
“Chomper is 14.2 pounds lighter thanks to Dr. Terry Norton and the team at the Turtle Hospital!” was posted on the Hospital team’s Facebook page. “Dr. Terry was able to save Chomper’s flipper and we are cautiously optimistic Chomper will make a full recovery.”
One member of the hospital staff declared to have never seen a tumor that big in his 30-year tenure. Dr. Zirkelbach explained that tumors are a rare case in these types of turtles, let alone one that massive size.
“In 30 years, we’ve never seen a tumor that big,” said Zirkelbach.
Our turtle in distress was located off Duck Key in the Florida Keys by a family that decided to go boating that evening. The family noticed the turtle was tangled up in a fishing line and it became very obvious that the turtle needed help.
They immediately called the professionals to rush the turtle, who was given the name Chomper by the two youngest sons, directly to the hospital.
Dr. Terry Norton carried out the surgical procedure. It must have been painstaking to go through it, but at least the worst of it is over. Now, the journey to recovery will be a long one but at least the poor Loggerhead has been given another chance at life. He’s got the wonderful care and treatment of the hospital to back him up one wave at a time.
So far, Chomper has been exceeding all expectations!
Footage shared by the hospital showed a determined Chomper bravely swimming with a pink cast over the injured right flipper. It was a light swim over a small pool so the poor critter could avoid causing more harm than good.
This is terrific news! Chomper’s success is credited to his inner valor and strength and also the incredible professionals at Turtle Hospital who have been nothing short of a miracle for the sea turtle.
Success is nothing new to this hard-working facility. The animal treatment department was officially opened in 1986 to admit sea turtles for rehabilitation and then to return them to their natural habitat.
Furthermore, the nonprofit pushes wildlife education and research in order to promote the conservation and safety of the beaches, waters, sea turtles, and nearby ecosystems.
We have no doubt that Chomper will regain his strength and live to swim again amongst his kind.
There’s no telling when cancer occurs, but the least we can do is try to lessen our water pollution and avoid tossing plastics and toxic material in our waters.
Every little bit helps and each step goes a long way in the conservation of these important sea turtles.
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