Sea Turtle covered in tumors to have surgery in Florida Keys - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Sea Turtle covered in tumors to have surgery in Florida Keys

Posted: Updated:
(NBC) -

A sea turtle covered with tumors was airlifted from St. Croix in the Virgin Islands to Florida on Saturday to receive treatment.

Named Charid, the 28-pound juvenile green sea turtle was found with fibropapilloma tumors covering her head, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

The turtle is named after the two children of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife official who found her in the Virgin Islands. 

Charid arrived at Miami International Airport Saturday morning and was taken to receive treatment at the Florida Keys Turtle Hospital, which has been helping sea turtles for more than 30 years.

Bette Zirkelbach, manager of the Turtle Hospital, was at the airport to receive Charid and spoke on the turtle's condition.

"She has one good eye," Zirkelbach said. "She is releasable [back into the wild] because they don't have to chase their prey. They just feed on sea grass. We’re so hopeful. You can see she’s moving so she made the trip."

Getting Charid help took some teamwork. Mark Nelson, general manager of American Airlines Virgin Islands, aided in the turtle's transportation.

"I'm a diver so sea life is very important to me," he said. "So when I heard about it I wanted to do whatever I could. And American was behind me all the way."

Fibropapilloma is a virus that affects sea turtles in oceans around the world. The turtles are treated by having the tumors surgically removed. The animals are then nursed back to health for eventual release back into the wild.

"The disease is horrific," Zirkelbach said. "It's really hard to look at, honestly. But environment has a big play in this disease. Warmer water temperatures, water pollution, causes this virus."

  • NEWSNEWSMore>>

  • Strategist Steve Bannon leaving White House

    Strategist Steve Bannon leaving White House

    Friday, August 18 2017 1:21 PM EDT2017-08-18 17:21:07 GMT

    Bannon was a key adviser to President Donald Trump's general election campaign and has been a forceful but contentious presence in a divided White House.

    More >>

    Bannon was a key adviser to President Donald Trump's general election campaign and has been a forceful but contentious presence in a divided White House.

    More >>
  • Race For The Zoo this Saturday, August 26

    Race For The Zoo this Saturday, August 26

    Monday, August 21 2017 9:48 PM EDT2017-08-22 01:48:33 GMT

    Race For The Zoo is set for this Saturday morning, August 26 at 8:30 a.m.

    More >>

    Race For The Zoo is set for this Saturday morning, August 26 at 8:30 a.m.

    More >>
  • Police stress moped safety and regulations for new school year

    Police stress moped safety and regulations for new school year

    Monday, August 21 2017 9:25 PM EDT2017-08-22 01:25:44 GMT

    Motors are buzzing as the fall semester kicks off and with a new school year comes safety concerns as more University of Iowa students are getting around by mopeds. 

    More >>

    Motors are buzzing as the fall semester kicks off and with a new school year comes safety concerns as more University of Iowa students are getting around by mopeds. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly