There is talk on the street. Local media is commenting. Key West’s daily newspaper the Key West Citizen reported the story in detail.
A pregnant turtle fighting for her life. Turtle professionals fighting to save her and the more than 100 eggs she carries.
It is a story of love and compassion.
Isaac did its damage throughout the Caribbean. The U.S. Virgin Islands were hit. Isaac ran over St. Croix and its surrounding waters.
A beat up sick turtle was discovered on a St. Croix Beach. The turtle was pregnant. The St. Croix persons involved hoped the mother and eggs she was carrying could be saved. The pregnant turtle was airlifted to the Marathon Turtle Hospital here in the Florida keys.
The turtle was badly hurt. She had wide wounds on both shoulders. Thought to be from gaffing or shark bites. She was suffering from drowning. Her lungs partially filled with fluid.
The prognosis is not good. Obviously the hope is to save the mother and her eggs. If the mother cannot be saved, it is still hoped the eggs can be. The eggs then hatched. The baby turtles surviving.
So far the staff at Marathon Turtle Hospital have induced labor and the mother has released 15 eggs. It is hoped more will be able to be induced. If it is determined the mother cannot survive, a caesarean will be performed.
The released eggs are immediately placed in incubators. The incubators have sand in them from the St. Croix beach. This is so as the eggs hatch, the baby turtles will feel they are in their natural habitat. It will help them to survive now and when they are returned to St. Croix.
Within 24 hours of the eggs hatching, the baby turtles will be flown back to St. Croix. They will be released in the sand and hopefully walk into the ocean and a full life. If the mother survives, she also will be returned to St. Croix.
Why so much time and effort for a pregnant turtle that will probably die anyhow? The reasons are two fold.
First, why not. Saving the mother and eggs is humanitarian. Some believe there is an obligation to help God’s lesser creatures. That is why we have a turtle hospital here in the keys.
The other reason is that hawksbill turtles are an endangered species. Ergo, there is a need to save as many of the eggs and subsequent babies as possible.
That is the story. I will keep you advised.
This turtle story is more important than anything else I could report today. More important than my beard trimming by Lori yesterday, working on friday’s show and the trip photos, drinks at Don’s Place with Don, David and Herschel, dinner at Pepe’s, Clinton’s eloquent speech,Womanfest, and bocce tonight.
Enjoy your day!