One Florida loggerhead sea turtle floated its way to helping hands after being found by boaters. The turtle, nicknamed Chomper, was caught in a net before being freed and taken to the Turtle Hospital in Marathon, Florida, on Thursday.
On Saturday, Chomper had a 14.2-pound tumor taken off its flipper. The hospital said the growth was bigger than a basketball.
The hospital made a post on their Facebook after the surgery.
“Chomper is 14.2 pounds lighter thanks to Dr. Terry Norton and the team at the Turtle Hospital! Dr. Terry was able to save Chomper’s flipper, and we are cautiously optimistic Chomper will make a full recovery,” the hospital continued.
One necessary factor for Chomper’s surgery came from another patient at the Florida hospital.
“Chomper received a blood transfusion immediately following surgery. Madea, a non-releasable loggerhead sea turtle, living at the Turtle Hospital was the blood donor. Please keep the prayers and healing vibes coming Chomper’s way, she has a long way to go in rehab.”
Bette Zirkelbach, the hospital’s manager, says that tumors are rare for loggerhead turtles, let alone a tumor of Chompers size.
“In 30 years, we’ve never seen a tumor that big,” said Zirkelbach.
Chomper weighed 150 pounds while still attached to the massive tumor.
The hospital posted an update on Chomper’s recovery, sharing a 30-second video of the her swimming around with a pink cast on the right flipper.
Talk about having a weight being lifted off your flipper!
The Turtle Hospital
According to the Turtle Hospital’s website, the nonprofit opened its doors in 1986. They help with the rescue of the animals while rehabilitating them to prepare for their release back into the ocean. The organization also helps to educate the public and work “toward environmental legislation making the beaches and water safe and clean for sea turtles.”