The Story of Chris the Turtle


The Story of Chris The Turtle.

Living in the Florida Keys gives me the unique opportunity of kayaking every night. When your out there on the water you see a lot of different kinds of wildlife on every trip. Last week I came across a large dead green turtle who was up in the mangroves. It was just after the 4th of July weekend, and the waters were packed with boats. I couldn’t know if it was from a boat, but it was dead. I reported the location to the people at The Turtle Hospital in Marathon Florida, yes we have a hospital just for turtles, because they keep track of these things. For the next few nights when I was on the water I would get bummed out if I went by the final resting spot of that turtle. I wasn’t going to bring it up here because I Like to keep things on the positive side.

But things do balance

As some of you will remember I rescued a drowning hawk a few months back, named him lucky. Well tonight I was summoned to save Chris the turtle. While getting ready to go out for my nightly paddle, a family from Switzerland came down the canal in their kayaks and stopped. They told me they had seen a turtle who was tangled up in fishing line at the end of the canal, and they didn’t know what to do or who to call. So I jumped into action and launched my kayak. They brought me to one of the dock pilings at the mouth of the canal. And there it was, an endangered green sea turtle. This thing was covered in bright green fishing line. It was wrapped around its neck and flippers. It barley had enough line left to come up for air. The poor thing was thrashing around making it worse. So I reached in a picked it up by the belly it flipped about four more times then went limp. My first thought was no, please don’t die in my hands. Then raised up its head and opened its mouth. Completely exhausted it just sat there slack jawed. With a little help we cut him free from the dock and I placed him on my lap. At this point I called for the Turtle Ambulance, yes we have those too.

Alistair from the Turtle Hospital met us at the dock. We loaded it up in a tub and brought it to the ambulance. He did a quick exam and said the prognosis was good. The heart rate was strong and it had a lot of energy After a short stay in Marathon it will be making a trip to Miami to see an ophthalmologist to have the growths removed from the eyes. Every now and then you get a chance to help out, and it really feels good. Last week wasn’t the best for the local wildlife, but tonight was a check in the win column. I’m going to try to keep up with Chris and see how the recovery goes. Stay tuned for updates. Please go and check my page for a short video of this encounter. And while you are there, remember to Like And visit The Turtle Hospital.

Update on Chris the turtle.

Found time today to run by the Turtle Hospital to check on Chris. When I arrived I was spotted by Alistair who gave me great news. He told me that the fishing line only cut Chris in one spot around the leg. No appetite yet, but that is common in rescued sea turtles. Once Chris is in better shape and starts eating, they will schedule the eye surgery in Miami. He told me those growths were common in young turtles around populated areas, but weren’t usually found on the adults. The Turtle Hospital does wonderful work with these animals, and has a very dedicated staff. My trip there was informative and enlightening. It is really good to know that people like that are making a difference with the health of our wildlife. If your ever in the Keys, pay this place a visit, you won’t be disappointed. And if you would like to see the video of Chris in his new home, stop by my page and check it out. Don’t forget to Like it while you are there, and stay in touch for more update on Chris.
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