A large leatherback sea turtle is swimming freely because of the efforts of a Florida fish and wildlife officer assigned to the Florida Keys.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Officer Pablo Ruiz was patrolling the ocean off Islamorada in the Upper Keys Wednesday when seen a business lobster trap coming up and down “fully submerging and reappearing once more,” mentioned FWC spokesman Officer Jason Rafter.
As Ruiz got nearer, he noticed a large, black form below the trap’s buoy and rapidly realized what he was seeing was a leatherback turtle that weighed about 350 kilos. The reptiles neck and entrance flipper had been entangled in the trap’s line.
“Officer Ruiz grabbed the road and tried, a number of occasions, to unravel the leatherback whereas it was resting on the floor with out success.,” Rafter mentioned. “The leatherback would energy away from the officer making the road tighter and the state of affairs worse.”
Ruiz was in a position to contact the proprietor of the trap by studying the registration quantity. The proprietor informed him to do no matter was essential to free the turtle.
“Officer Ruiz solely needed to make a few cuts of the trap line, and the leatherback was freed from all entanglements,” Rafter mentioned. “Officer Ruiz mentioned the turtle stayed on the floor for a few moments, took a breath, submerged, and swam off.”
This story was initially printed September 10, 2022 11:49 AM.