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A loggerhead sea turtle is attended to by a veterinarian and a veterinary technician.

Our Sea Turtle Healing Center team is working hard to help a loggerhead named Mischief on their rehabilitation journey after losing a flipper to fishing equipment. 

A crab pot line.Mischief came to us in October 2023 after being found by boaters in Sebastian Inlet with their right front flipper entangled in a crab trap line. Unfortunately, the line had cut off circulation to the limb, causing it to die off.  

Our veterinary team undertook a 6-hour surgery to remove the flipper. Sea turtles have been documented in the ocean living healthy full lives with just three flippers, so we believe Mischief will be able to do the same.  

Sea turtles’ bodies can quickly heal from the severity of a missing limb – recovery needs to be fast after the trauma of losing a limb to a predator – but sometimes complications arise from this quick healing. Mischief recently underwent another surgery to clean debris and dead muscle from this still-healing wound.  

A loggerhead sea turtle undergoes surgery with a veterinarian.This sub-adult loggerhead still has a long road ahead of them, and our Healing Center team is prepared to see them return to the ocean.  

Still, we want to remind commercial and recreational fishers that derelict fishing gear presents one of today’s greatest threats to aquatic life. Anglers should stow their equipment before and after use. 

Everyone can make a difference to the lives of sea turtles, even casual beach-goers or boaters! Bringing your trash home with you after a day enjoying the water or refusing single-use plastics (microplastics is another major threat to sea turtles) are two ways to help this critical species. 

Brevard Zoo is an independent, not-for-profit organization that receives no recurring government funding for our operating costs. Your generous support enables us to continue to serve our community and continue our vital animal wellness, education and conservation programs.