A critically endangered sea turtle that had previously been caught in a Louisiana fisherman’s line is now being released back into the wild following months of grueling rehabilitation.
“We were fishing just out of this corner over there, and when we went to pick up, there was a line twisted,” said local shrimper Bobby Aguillard. “As I was pulling it in, I noticed the black string. On the end of the black string was a turtle.”
He then reported the animal injured half-a-mile off shore, and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, along with the Audubon’s Coastal Wildlife Network rescue center, intervened.
The rescue center’s Gabriella Vazquez said they administered a full test on the turtle, and determined he had a mouth and shoulder injury from the rope.
They then embarked on a lengthy rehabilitation program, where he was fed through a tube and given antibiotics and fluids.
During rehabilitation, they named him Raye.
On Wednesday, Aguillard joined Vazquez’ team in releasing him back into the wild.
“Knowing this sea turtle can go swimming in these waters, I’m grateful,” he said in a statement.