Sea turtle delivers eggs, endures surgery after shark attack

Sea turtle delivers eggs, endures surgery after shark attack
In this image provided by Zoo Miami, a female loggerhead turtle receives fluids as part of a treatment on May 28, 2022, after she was brought to Miami Zoo's new Sea Turtle Hospital in Miami. The turtle was rescued from the Port St. Lucie Power Plant after a shark attack left its left fin with exposed bone. Credit: Ron Magill/Zoo Miami via AP

A loggerhead turtle whose left fin was destroyed in a shark attack is rehabbing at Zoo Miami's new Sea Turtle Hospital, where veterinarians were able to save more than 100 of her eggs after she was rescued.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission sent the turtle to the hospital on May 22 after she was found at the Port St. Lucie power plant, Ron Magill, the zoo's communications director said.

An ultrasound determined that the 50-year-old, 388-pound (176-kilograms) turtle was pregnant. She also had scars on the shell that indicated it had been previously hit by a boat and attacked by another shark earlier in life, said.

The hospital staff stabilized the turtle, dubbed Baymax, in a recovery tank and gave her fluids, vitamins and food that included squid and crab. Then, on Memorial Day, she was moved to a sand-filled pen and given calcium and oxytocin to stimulate her labor. By Tuesday morning she had deposited over 100 eggs. Then they prepared to treat her shark bite injury.

During a seven-hour surgery a team led by Zoo Miami associate veterinarian Marisa Bezjian and assisted by chief veterinarian Gwen Myers, the exposed bone was removed and the surrounding wound was cleaned and treated. More eggs also emerged, and like the others, they were taken in a bin of sand to the Miami-Dade Parks Sea Turtle Conservation Program, to incubate in a man-made nest, Magill said.

  • Sea turtle delivers eggs, endures surgery after shark attack
    In this image provided by Zoo Miami, a female loggerhead turtle clears her nostrils after surfacing for air in her treatment tank on May 28, 2022, after she was brought to Miami Zoo's new Sea Turtle Hospital in Miami. The turtle was rescued from the Port St. Lucie Power Plant after a shark attack left its left fin with exposed bone. Credit: Ron Magill/Zoo Miami via AP
  • Sea turtle delivers eggs, endures surgery after shark attack
    In this image provided by Zoo Miami. Zoo Miami Associate Veterinarian, Dr. Marisa Bezjian, performs surgery on a loggerhead turtle on May 31, 2022, after she was brought to Miami Zoo's new Sea Turtle Hospital in Miami. The turtle was rescued from the Port St. Lucie Power Plant after a shark attack left its left fin with exposed bone. Credit: Ron Magill/Zoo Miami via AP
  • Sea turtle delivers eggs, endures surgery after shark attack
    In this image provided by Zoo Miami. veterinarians carefully collects eggs from a loggerhead turtle on May 31, 2022, after she was brought to Miami Zoo's new Sea Turtle Hospital in Miami. The turtle was rescued from the Port St. Lucie Power Plant after a shark attack left its left fin with exposed bone. They eggs were to be taken to the Miami-Dade Parks Sea Turtle Conservation Program and inserted into a man-made nest for incubation, hoping that they would hatch, officials said. Credit: Ron Magill/Zoo Miami via AP
  • Sea turtle delivers eggs, endures surgery after shark attack
    In this image provided by Zoo Miami, Zoo Miami Hospital Manager Rosemary Lucas, right, and Hospital Keeper Aid, Kristen Nettleton treat a loggerhead turtle on May 28, 2022, after she was brought to Miami Zoo's new Sea Turtle Hospital in Miami. The turtle was rescued from the Port St. Lucie Power Plant after a shark attack left its left fin with exposed bone. Credit: Ron Magill/Zoo Miami via AP
  • Sea turtle delivers eggs, endures surgery after shark attack
    In this image provided by Zoo Miami. veterinarians carefully collects eggs from a loggerhead turtle on May 31, 2022, after she was brought to Miami Zoo's new Sea Turtle Hospital in Miami. The turtle was rescued from the Port St. Lucie Power Plant after a shark attack left its left fin with exposed bone. They eggs were to be taken to the Miami-Dade Parks Sea Turtle Conservation Program and inserted into a man-made nest for incubation, hoping that they would hatch, officials said. Credit: Ron Magill/Zoo Miami via AP
  • Sea turtle delivers eggs, endures surgery after shark attack
    In this image provided by Zoo Miami, a female loggerhead turtle is moved by zoo staff before surgery, May 30, 2022, after she was brought to Miami Zoo's new Sea Turtle Hospital in Miami. The turtle was rescued from the Port St. Lucie Power Plant after a shark attack left its left fin with exposed bone. Credit: Ron Magill/Zoo Miami via AP

Baymax provided a early launch for the , which recently passed inspection and had permission to accept sick and injured turtles, but won't officially open until next month, Magill said.

While it's not uncommon for to lose limbs to sharks or boat strike, many adjust and lead productive lives. That's the hope for Baymax. Officials said she'll be closely monitored for several weeks until she's healthy enough to return to the wild.


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