KEY WEST, Fla. -- A federally protected green sea turtle was released in the Florida Keys after recovering from a spear shot into its neck.
The 150-pound (68-kilogram) female, dubbed "Splinter," returned to the Atlantic Ocean on Friday at Higgs Beach in Key West.
The turtle was rescued off Key Largo Sept. 7 entangled in a commercial fishing trapline. The reptile was transported to the Middle Keys-based Turtle Hospital in Marathon, where a veterinarian surgically removed the 3-foot-long (1-meter-long) spear.
Hospital personnel also provided additional treatment, which included wound care, broad-spectrum antibiotics and a diet of natural sea grass, green vegetables and seafood.
Several Florida Keys businesses have joined with the hospital to pledge a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever speared the turtle.