Turtle returned to ocean after recovering from spear attack

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A federally protected green sea turtle was released in the Florida Keys on Nov. 1, 2019 after recovering from a spear shot into its neck. (Photo: Florida Keys News Bureau & the Turtle Hospital)

KEY WEST, FL (AP) — A federally protected green sea turtle was released in the Florida Keys after recovering from a spear shot into its neck.

The 150-pound female, dubbed “Splinter,” returned to the Atlantic Ocean on Friday at Higgs Beach in Key West.

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The turtle was rescued off Key Largo Sept. 7 entangled in a commercial fishing trapline. The reptile was transported to the Middle Keys-based Turtle Hospital in Marathon, where a veterinarian surgically removed the 3-foot-long spear.

Hospital personnel also provided additional treatment, which included wound care, broad-spectrum antibiotics and a diet of natural sea grass, green vegetables and seafood.

Several Florida Keys businesses have joined with the hospital to pledge a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever speared the turtle.