Long Beach aquarium treats, releases giant sea turtle after hook injury

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- A giant green sea turtle that was snagged by a fisherman's hook is on its way back home, after being treated and released to the ocean by the Aquarium of the Pacific.

The turtle was brought to the Long Beach aquarium with a hook lodged in its throat near the opening of its mouth.

Aquarium veterinarians sedated the turtle and removed the hook, then kept an eye on it for about three weeks as it recovered.

On Thursday, the aquarium, in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, released the turtle back into the Pacific Ocean.

"It was just wonderful, especially knowing that someone that is a fisherman knew what to do so that this turtle would have a chance to go back into the wild," said aquarium volunteer Celeste Hassler.

Green sea turtles are listed as endangered in Florida and on the Pacific coast of Mexico and are considered threatened in other areas. This one was believed to be 5 to 10 years old and now has another chance at fulfilling the typical lifespan ranging from 50 to 100 years.

The aquarium says it gets to care for an injured sea turtle and release it back into the ocean about once or twice a year.

"It's always really great to get to see the animals go back into the wild and knowing we've helped them out a little bit and they get a second chance at life," said Dr. Lance Adams, a veterinarian with the aquarium.
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