Sea turtle with amputated beak could return to wild

Fegghy, found in fishing net, in rehabilitation since 2005

Sea turtle with amputated beak could return to wild

Rimini, July 17 - A 16-year-old sea turtle named Fegghy that was rescued from a fisherman's net in 2005 in critical condition may be able to return to her natural habitat, marine veterinarians said. Fegghy had a broken jaw and amputated upper beak when a fishing boat off the Adriatic coast near San Benedetto del Tronto discovered her trapped in their net. The crew called marine rescue workers who took the Loggerhead turtle that was near death to the Riccione Marine Turtle Hospital where she underwent 18 months of rehabilitation including two surgeries to repair her mouth area allowing her to eat almost completely without assistance. When she was transferred to the aquarium in the city of Cattolica in 2007, she weighed 16 kilograms and was 50 centimeters long. After six years in Cattolica's "Turtle Bay", where she had free range in an 80,000-liter marine water pool, the loggerhead, also called Caretta turtle weighs 38 kilograms and is 65 centimeters long. Marine biologists now, after years of rehab, believe that Fegghy has a chance of returning to her natural habitat in a protected area of the Conero Regional Park in Marche. Fegghy is a member of an endangered species found in the Mediterranean Sea that suffers from a low reproductive rate and is increasing threatened by pollution and boats that cause injuries. In July, a 30-kilogram female Loggerhead was returned to the sea after recovering from advanced pneumonia caused by numerous plastic sacks she had swallowed mistaking them for jelly fish.

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