Endangered turtle released after recovering from fishing gear entanglement

Endangered turtle released after recovering from fishing gear entanglement

■ STAFF REPORT

Mote Marine Laboratory’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital staff released a subadult Kemp’s ridley turtle on Friday, July 13, from Anna Maria Island after it recovered from entanglement in fishing gear. The rehabilitation and release of this turtle, nicknamed “Gazpacho,” is of special importance because Kemp’s ridleys are federally designated as endangered. Gazpacho was rescued at Hog Island in Charlotte Harbor, where it was found entangled in a large clump of monofilament fishing line with a rod attached; two fishing hooks were found in its mouth. Once the line and hooks were removed, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) arranged for the turtle to come to Mote’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital for treatment starting May 30. Upon arrival, Gazpacho was treated with antibiotics and started eating right away.