Posted: Aug 23, 2013 12:14 PM
Updated: Aug 23, 2013 12:45 PM
Source: Associated Press
NEW ORLEANS - A young endangered sea turtle found with severe head injuries is swimming free in the Gulf of Mexico after more than a year of rehabilitation.
A boater called the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries on July 2, 2012, to report an injured turtle, and biologist Paul Cook rescued the Kemp's ridley sea turtle the same day. Suzanne Smith of the Audubon Nature Institute says its head was cracked from top to bottom.
The Audubon Nature Institute's Aquatic Center arranged surgery for the turtle, nicknamed "Jaws," at a Mandeville veterinary hospital. A brace kept its mouth still, requiring a feeding tube. The tube was removed in October, and the turtle has been in rehabilitation at the Audubon Aquarium since November.
Jaws was released on Wednesday.