Dunedin, Florida -- Florida Fish & Wildlife officers rescued a sick Loggerhead sea turtle off the coast of Honeymoon Island Friday.
Photo Gallery: Sick sea turtle rescue
Officers on water patrol in the area got a call that the turtle struggling about 200 yards off the island's coast. The officers rescued the turtle which was turned over to biologists at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
FWC says the turtle was sick with a papillomas virus that is plaguing sea turtles in the area. Infected turtles have trouble breathing and can not submerge and can be fatal.
"When we got on scene, the poor turtle was struggling to swim and was gasping for air," said one of the officers.
If you find a dead, sick or injured sea turtle, please call FWC's 24-hour Wildlife Alert Number at 1-888-404-FWCC (3922).
You should be prepared to answer the following questions:
- What is exact location of the animal?
- Is the turtle dead or alive?
- What is the approximate size of the turtle?
- Is the turtle marked with spray paint? (A marking used for documentation purposes)
- What is location of the closest access point to the turtle?