LIDO BEACH, Fla. - A giant Loggerhead Sea Turtle found injured and near death in November near Fort Myers Beach has returned to the ocean following months of rehabilitation.
The turtle, named Big Bel, was treated at the Mote Marine's Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital near Lido Beach. She had damage to her front and rear flippers, 22 pounds of algae and barnacles growing on her body.
Animal Care Specialist Connie Murk says Big Bel had completely regained her strength despite the damage to her fins. "Sea turtles are amazing creatures," Murk said. "They can go out and survive in situations like that, really unimpeded. You saw how strong she walked herself down in to the water, so obviously that is not a hindrance to her survival."
Big Bel weighs 214 pounds. It took about eight workers to carry her down to the beach and put her in at the shore line.