MARATHON, Fla. (AP) - A 320-pound green sea turtle is being prepared to be couriered from the Florida Keys to Las Vegas via FedEx.
For almost five years, the turtle has been cared for in the Turtle Hospital's 100,000-gallon tidal rehabilitation pool. The reptile cannot be released because of an irreparable collapsed lung.
Officials at the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas responded to the hospital's request to provide a permanent home for OD, named for the Key Largo dive charter boat that rescued it in 2008.
Wednesday, hospital officials examined and reaffirmed OD's fitness for the two-leg Thursday flight, set to arrive in Las Vegas late that afternoon.
The reptile is to remain in quarantine for some 45 days before being allowed to live in the aquarium's 1.3-million-gallon exhibition tank.
Online: Turtle Hospital, http://www.turtlehospital.org ; Shark Reef Aquarium, http://www.sharkreef.com
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)