WEST ORANGE –
A 214-pound loggerhead sea turtle is being nursed back to health after it was rescued by the Coast Guard.
The turtle, named Tammy by her saviors, was found with 38 pounds of barnacles, mussels and mud on her shell. Veterinarians say that it will be a long recovery, but that she is already improving.
“After we cleaned her all off, she’s now swimming with buoyancy,” says Brandi Biehl with Sea Turtle Recovery in West Orange. “She’s no longer struggling at the surfaces like the Coast Guard found her.”
Tammy has been gaining strength and is nearly ready to eat solid foods like crabs and scallops.
The Coast Guard found Tammy off the coast of Delaware, struggling to swim.
After her shell was cleaned off, vets say they found propeller marks on her shell.
“It revealed five prop cuts in her back, which definitely could’ve debilitated her, made her more lethargic,” Biehl says.
Biehl says that this lethargy would have probably caused Tammy to rest on the bottom of the ocean for a longer period of time, causing the barnacles to grow.
Those caring for Tammy at Sea Turtle Recovery say that it could be six months to a year before she’s returned to the wild.