Talbot's Story

Talbot's Story

Released December 2009 - Courtesy of the Georgia Sea Turtle Center

In September 2009, the Georgia Sea Turtle Center received a phone call from a sea turtle volunteer about a stranded loggerhead sea turtle entangled in fishing gear on Amelia Island, FL. Unable to move the turtle, the volunteer went in search of help. By the time she returned, the tide had come in and the turtle was gone.

The following day, the GSTC received a second call about a sea turtle entangled in fishing gear on Talbot Island, one island south of Amelia. It was the same turtle from the day before.

The turtle, named Talbot, was taken to GSTC for immediate treatment. Talbot had thick rope around both shoulders, which had embedded in the skin of the left shoulder – exposing muscles and tendons – while the right shoulder had a minor wound. Talbot's right flipper tip also showed indications of dead tissue. The team removed varying amounts of tissue and bone each day until healthy tissue was exposed. Eventually, the team performed surgery to remove all remaining dead tissue and bone. The wound healed remarkably fast. Talbot's appetite increased, and the turtle put on some weight. Talbot's right flipper was also still very functional.

Talbot recovered so well that the GSTC decided to schedule the turtle's release for late December 2009. Talbot was released off Cape Canaveral National Seashore. Before being released, Talbot was fitted with a satellite tag, with help from the Georgia Aquarium, which allows the turtle's movements to be tracked.

For more information about the Georgia Sea Turtle Center and its programs, visit www.georgiaseaturtlecenter.org.