A sea turtle found over the weekend on a beach in St. Croix, Virgin Islands was flown to a hospital in Florida in a desperate attempt to try to save his life.
Sadly, the sea turtle named Charid was covered in tumors from fibropapilloma, a virus which is known to be caused by water pollution.
The 28-pound juvenile green sea turtle thought to be between five and seven years old was later taken to the Florida Keys-based Turtle Hospital in Marathon.
Wildlife officials transferred Charid to Florida because St. Croix does not have the means or equipment to treat him whereas the Turtle Hospital has been treating the fibropapilloma virus for more than three decades.
“The disease is horrific. It shows itself in tumors on the soft tissue. It’s really hard to look at, honestly, but the environment has a big play in this disease,” Bette Zirkelbach, the manager of the Florida Keys Turtle Hospital told CBS News. “Either way, this turtle is going to be in better hands, and we’re still hoping for a best case that it’s tumor-free on the inside, and then we’ll start treating those tumors on the outside.”
Zirkelbach, who recognized the extraordinary relocation effort by numerous agencies and organizations including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife and the Florida Conservation Commission, further explained that fibropapilloma is a virus that affects more than half of the green sea turtle population in and around developed islands.
There they hope to surgically remove the tumors from the sea turtle’s face so he can be nursed back to health and then re-released back in the wild.
Charid’s recovery period will take a considerable amount of time as it is estimated he will remain at the hospital for approximately two years.
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