Recently, a veterinary team from the Turtle Hospital in Marathon, Florida, performed surgery on a sea turtle that had a 14.2-lb. tumor on one of its flippers. The veterinary team was able to successfully remove the tumor that had grown to be the size of a basketball.
The lucky turtle was named Chomper. And according to a post on Facebook, the vet who cared for the turtle was Dr. Terry Norton. Chomper’s flipper was operated on, and Dr. Norton remains optimistic that the turtle will be able to recover from its ordeal.
The post added that Chomper received a blood transfusion right after the surgery. The post explained that the blood donor for Chomper happened to be another non-releasable loggerhead sea turtle who was living at the Turtle Hospital. This turtle was named Madea. The post further asked the public for “prayers and healing vibes” for Chomper. The turtle has a long road to recovery ahead of her.
Chomper was first discovered by boaters who noticed her caught in a fishing line. According to the Miami Herald, the family who rescued Chomper immediately brought her into the hospital following her discovery.
The media outlet reported that Bette Zirkelbach, the hospital manager, shared that tumors are pretty rare occurrences amongst loggerhead turtles – especially ones so large. Apparently, Chomper weighed 150 pounds with the tumor still on her!
As Zirkelbach shared, “In 30 years, we’ve never seen a tumor that big.”
Another update shared by the hospital showed Chomper swimming around with her right flipper set in a pink cast. Chomper was swimming around a small pool during the brief video clip.
While she might face a long road to recovery, she is in good hands.
The Turtle Hospital goes back to 1986 when the center was founded to help rescue and rehabilitate injured sea turtles before releasing them back into the wild.
According to their website, they also help to educate the public about wildlife, conduct research, and also do their best to strive “toward environmental legislation making the beaches and water safe and clean for sea turtles.”
Anastasia is an American writer and journalist living in Dublin, Ireland. Her Twitter is @AnastasiaArell5.