WATCH: Turtle returned to ocean after recovering from spear attack

National News

Video: Florida Keys News Bureau, The Turtle Hospital

KEY WEST, Fla. (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 (68-kilogram) female, dubbed “Splinter,” returned to the Atlantic Ocean on Friday at Higgs Beach in Key West.

In this photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, Bette Zirkelbach, right, manager of the Florida Keys-based Turtle Hospital, and spectators watch as “Splinter,” a federally protected green sea turtle, crawls to the Atlantic Ocean Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, in Key West, Fla. The 150-pound reptile was rescued off Key Largo, Fla., Sept. 7, 2019, with a spear shot into its neck and was transported to the hospital where a veterinarian surgically removed it. (Rob O’Neal/Florida Keys News Bureau via AP)

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 (1-meter-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.

In this photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, Bette Zirkelbach, left, manager of the Florida Keys-based Turtle Hospital, provides youngsters marine resources education about “Splinter,” a federally protected green sea turtle, Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, in Key West, Fla. The 150-pound reptile was subsequently released Friday, about seven weeks after it was rescued off Key Largo, Fla., with a spear shot into its neck. A veterinarian surgically removed the spear at the hospital and “Splinter” recovered. (Rob O’Neal/Florida Keys News Bureau via AP)

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.

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