The Turtle Hospital is a treatment center solely dedicated to saving and rehabilitating sea turtles, but even after decades of work no one had ever seen a case like this.
Last Thursday, a loggerhead sea turtle was caught in a fishing line in the Florida Keys, according to the Miami Herald.
The boaters were shocked to see the turtle had a massive fin tumor roughly the size of a basketball. They took her to the Turtle Hospital for treatment.
Veterinarians got to work removing the 14.2-pound tumor, hoping that the turtle—now known as Chomper—would be able to return to her native habitat.
It was unlike anything they had ever dealt with before.
“In 30 years, we’ve never seen a tumor that big,” hospital manager Bette Zirkelbach told the Miami Herald.
Amazingly, the vets were able to successfully remove the tumor from the turtle’s fin.
“Dr. Terry was able to save Chomper’s flipper and we are cautiously optimistic Chomper will make a full recovery,” the Turtle Hospital wrote on Facebook.
While the vets saved the day, another sea turtle was a hero as well: he received a blood donation from Madea, a non-releasable sea turtle in the hospital’s care.
With the tumor removed, Chomper still has a long way to go. “Please keep the prayers and healing vibes coming Chomper’s way,” the hospital wrote.
But it seems Chomper is already doing well. The hospital put a pink cast around her tumor-free fin, and she is now swimming again.
We’re so glad Chomper is doing well and are wishing her a fast recovery! Thank you to the vets who saved her!