Patient Status: Released October 10, 2017
Date Found: July 8, 2017
Location Found: Holiday, Pasco County, FL
Reason for Rescue: Found entangled in fishing line; Fibropapilloma tumors
WEIGHT: 6.11 kg (13.5 lbs)
SCL (STRAIGHT CARAPACE LENGTH): 36.9 cm (14.5 in)
EXAM FINDINGS: Alert and active, in good body condition. Deep laceration around the neck and around left front flipper due to fishing line entanglement. Multiple small fibropapilloma tumors.
INITIAL TREATMENT: Received vitamins, antibiotics, fluids, pain medication, and wound care.
On July 9, a fisherman found a small, juvenile green sea turtle in Holiday, Pasco County, Florida with external fibropapilloma tumors, and fishing line entangling its left front flipper and around its neck. The fisherman removed the line and called to report the turtle. CMA’s Rescue Team brought the turtle into CMA for triage and care.
Monofilament fishing line is very dangerous for turtles, especially fishing line that remains in the ocean. Turtles can get tangled in the line, causing flipper amputations, or they can swallow the line causing digestive problems. It’s important that you properly dispose of your fishing line and hooks any time you go fishing.
Fibropapillomatosis is a virus that is most common in juvenile green sea turtles and is rarely seen in other sea turtle species. The virus causes cauliflower-like tumors to grow on the turtle’s soft tissues. This virus is very contagious so once a turtle with this virus comes into our facility, it is quarantined in our Intensive Care Unit. Although the cause of this virus is still unknown, you can help by keeping our oceans clean of trash and chemical pollutants.
NAMING THEME: Cereal
Zo was the last turtle named from our “cereal” naming theme. The turtle is named after a short-lived cereal that was produced between 1928 and 1930 that was rich in vitamins.
7/9/17 – Started on a daily regimen of antibiotics, glucose checks, fluids and wound care.
7/10/17 – Surgically removed Zo’s left front flipper as the damage caused by the fishing line was too extensive to save it.
7/12/17 – Swim test in deep water, performed very well! Started increasing deep water time.
7/15/17 – Offered food and ate all of it! Started to increase daily diet. And, now spending all day and night in deep water.
7/27/17 – Injectible meds discontinued; started on oral medications.
8/15/17 – Successful surgery performed to remove fibropapilloma tumors. Eye drops to be administered daily following removal of tumors from eyes.
9/7/17 – Oral meds discontinued.
10/5/17 – Quick, successful surgery to remove a small tumor regrowth.
10/8/17 – Eye drops discontinued, and cleared for release!
10/10/17 – After 94 days in rehab, Zo’s treatment was successfully completed and she was released at Honeymoon Island State Park in Pinellas County! Swim strong out there, Zo!
All marine turtle footage taken in Florida was obtained with the approval of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) under conditions not harmful to marine turtles. Footage was acquired while conducting authorized conservation activities pursuant to FWC MTP-17-172.