Phoenix is a loggerhead turtle that was admitted to Gumbo Limbo Nature Center’s (GLNC) Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Facility in January 2014. The sub-adult sea turtle sustained a boat propeller strike that removed the rear six inches of its shell. Little did staff know that there was an even larger problem: a 4-inch stainless steel shark hook was lodged in her throat, which was revealed in an x-ray. Because the hook was deep in the esophagus, Phoenix was brought to the Palm Beach Zoo for hook removal surgery. A sedative was administered to calm the turtle and in an intense procedure, staff veterinarian Dr. Chadam was able to successfully remove the hook. A few sutures were placed at the surgery site to help with healing and the turtle was brought back to GLNC.
Phoenix made a full recovery and was released on June 12th, 2014 at Spanish River Park with over 600 people cheering her on. Phoenix entered the ocean equipped with a satellite transmitter, the first subject of a new tracking program at Gumbo Limbo. The transmitter is set to send signals every other day, when the turtle is at the surface of the ocean. YOU can track Phoenix on her journey by clicking here!
**Note: There seems to be some difficulty on the tracking website. If the map does not come up, try refreshing your screen. You can also try selecting the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center's Rehabilitated Turtle Tracking link on the left hand side of the page (the tracking website, not gumbolimbo.org). If this does not work please be patient, something seems to be "off".
Photo by Ben Hicks