Giving the turtle a name was easy. Giving her back to the sea took months.
On July 28, a loggerhead turtle arrived at the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center without a name, without a left flipper, without much chance of surviving.
Two fishermen had brought her to the city marina in Pompano Beach that Saturday night. A shark had taken the left front flipper. Her right flipper was nearly severed and, judging by the teeth marks, her head had been in the shark’s mouth.
“Sea turtles are usually only attacked if they’re already sick or injured,” explained Ryan Butts, the center’s turtle rehabilitation coordinator. “They float when they’re sick or injured, and that makes them vulnerable, so it’s amazing she got away.”
Butts and his team of volunteers named their patient Cindy, and nursed her for the next three months.
Her right flipper was sutured, her blood drawn to monitor glucose levels, her wounds cleansed daily and treated with honey, a natural disinfectant and antibiotic.