70 kg turtle with amputated flipper makes it back to ocean

A female loggerhead sea turtle has been released off the Florida Keys, after convalescing for about three months at the Keys-based Turtle Hospital.

Sea turtle 'Judy' needed 3 months of treatment after being entangled in fishing line

In this May 12, 2018 photo provided by the Turtle Hospital, manager Bette Zirkelbach, front left, and founder Richie Moretti, front right, release 'Judy' a loggerhead sea turtle, off the Florida Keys in Marathon, Fla. (Larry Benvenuti/Associated Press)

A female loggerhead sea turtle has been released off the Florida Keys, after convalescing for about three months at the Keys-based Turtle Hospital.

Hundreds of spectators applauded hospital staff Saturday as they released "Judy," a 70-kilogram juvenile that was found entangled in a fishing trap line off the Lower Keys in early February.

Judy's left rear flipper was amputated, but it's hoped she will live to maturity and become a mother. (Bob Care/Associated Press)

The reptile was treated with antibiotics, vitamins, lactulose and a diet of squid and fish. Even though her left rear flipper was amputated, as a result of the entanglement, "Judy" is expected to do well.

Turtle Hospital officials said that releasing the reptile over Mother's Day weekend was especially meaningful because they are confident the turtle will lay eggs after reaching maturity.

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