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Loggerhead Marinelife Center treats sea turtle injured by shark

The medical staff at Loggerhead Marinelife Center treat Heidi, the largest female adult hawksbill sea turtle in LMC's history, on April 28, 2021.jpg
Posted at 1:06 PM, Apr 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-30 17:53:05-04

JUNO BEACH, Fla. — Loggerhead Marinelife Center is treating the largest female adult hawksbill sea turtle the hospital has ever had.

Hospital officials said the turtle's flippers were injured by a shark.

“Sea turtles can heal from some devastating injuries, much more so than mammals and other animals. We saw that in her case," said Dr. Max Polyak, the director of rehabilitation at LMC.

Heidi, a hawksbill sea turtle, was rescued at the beginning of March in Jensen Beach.

"She had injuries on all of her limbs. One severe injury on her rear left limb required partial amputation of that tissue. So we did that here at the hospital," Polyak said.

Polyak said Heidi has been healing quickly.

"Other things we do as part of her therapeutic plan are to make sure there’s no infection setting in both at the wound site and systemically throughout her body. We monitor any other thing that may be happening that is abnormal," Polyak said.

On Wednesday, marine staff took Heidi to Jupiter Medical Center to get a CT scan.

"What does an animal look like internally, what is of immediate concern, and how is that injury progressing and how is she doing before making a decision to clear her for release medically," Polyak said.

Heidi will be released back into the ocean very soon and will have a satellite tag attached on top of her shell so the center can monitor her for about a year.

"That will allow us to monitor her for about a year or so to see where she’s going, where she is feeding, her foraging grounds," Polyak said.

To learn more about Loggerhead Marinelife Center, click here.