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Loggerhead sea turtle Bubba receives an exam.

Meet one of the largest loggerheads our Sea Turtle Healing Center has ever treated: Bubba! He is a healthy 375 pounds.

Biologists with Inwater Research found Bubba in St. Lucie County on April 10. Noticing Bubba had injuries to both front flippers, the biologists used a crane to pull him out of the water and into a carrier in their pickup truck to bring him to the Healing Center.

There, it took a team of seven to lift Bubba and two more Healing Center volunteers to remove the carrier.

A preliminary exam found that both of Bubba’s front flippers had been injured, likely due to a predator attack, and could use some help healing. The sea turtle was also dealing with an intensive infestation of marine leeches, which caused Bubba to be anemic.


In addition to receiving antibiotics, Bubba has started receiving regular wound cleanings along with cold laser therapy on his front flippers. A freshwater bath removed the marine leeches.

Bubba has no evidence of internal or external tags, but our Healing Center team is estimating that this sea turtle is between 60-75 years old! He is likely a great-grandfather.

While treatment takes time, we hope to get Bubba back into the ocean faster than most of our patients. We know Bubba is a breeding male – his estimated age and long tail gave us this indication. We’ll share more soon!

Have you found a sea turtle that needs help? Visit this page or call the Sea Turtle Preservation Society at 321-206-0646Want to help the Sea Turtle Healing Center? Support our Zoo, or view our Healing Center’s wishlist.