Alisa Manzelli, Global Animal

A 100-pound loggerhead turtle was released back into the ocean last week after veterinarian Lara Croft carefully dislodged a 4-inch-long fish hook from the sea turtle’s throat. 

SeaWorld's senior veterinarian, Lara Croft, and aquarium staff members remove the large hook from the turtle's throat. Photo Credit: Jason Collier/SeaWorld

The turtle arrived at SeaWorld Orlando on February 26 after being rescued from an intake canal at the St. Lucie Power Plant in St. Lucie County, Florida. In Orlando, the turtle immediately underwent surgery after blood work and x-ray procedures.

SeaWorld’s senior veterinarian, Lara Croft, surgically removed the hook, and after a speedy recovery, SeaWorld’s animal care team released the turtle at Lori Wilson Park, just south of Cocoa Beach, FL.

According to SeaWorld veterinarians, the fishing hook was one of the largest the team has removed to date. This year, SeaWorld Orlando has rescued nine sea turtles.

To help protect this threatened species and other sea creatures, it is vital to properly dispose of all trash and fishing lines. In addition, using circle-shaped hooks can help reduce the risk of creatures swallowing such dangerous items. Turtles are less likely to swallow circle-shaped hooks than J-shaped hooks, which often cause suffocation or internal bleeding.

Left: X-rays reveal the 4-inch-long hook lodged into the sea turtle's throat. Right: SeaWorld's animal care team releases the lucky turtle back into the ocean. Photo Credit: Jason Collier/SeaWorld
Photo Credit: Jason Collier/SeaWorld
Photo Credit: Jason Collier/SeaWorld