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Sea turtle dies after surgery

July 19, 2012 at 11:17 AM

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla., July 19 (UPI) -- Veterinarians say an endangered Kemp's Ridley sea turtle died after being found near Panama City Beach, Fla., with fishing hooks in its mouth and intestines.

A fisherman found the turtle July 3 under the intercoastal bridge in Port St. Joe with fishing line wrapped around its front right flipper and fishing hooks in its mouth and intestines. Wildlife officers came to take the turtle to Gulf World for Surgery, the Panama City News Herald reported.

Dr. Lydia Staggs said the surgery went well, and the rusted hooks were successfully removed, although the fishing line severed the tip of the turtle's fin.

However the turtle, nicknamed Capt. Hook by Gulf World staff, died Wednesday.

"The biggest key if you were to catch a sea turtle, people need to call us so we can take care of it," Staggs said. "You shouldn't just cut the line and let them go; it's very damaging to them."

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