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Deputies save sea turtle from red tide

The deputies were on patrol in Fort Myers Beach when they came across the distressed turtle.

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. — Two deputies in southwest Florida are being credited with saving a sea turtle affected by red tide.

The Lee County Sheriff's Office posted on Facebook that Deputy Kyle Hargis and Lieutenant Tim Galloway spotted the sea turtle "in obvious distress" on Fort Myers Beach. 

Once Deputy Hargis carefully pulled the turtle out of the water, two neighbors came over with wet towels to help keep it safe while it was on the move. During the ensuing boat ride, the deputies said the turtle started chomping at their feet. So they decided to name it "Pacman," after the classic arcade game.

FWC evaluated the sea turtle and took over its care. After learning she was female, the deputies renamed her "Miss Pacman."

The turtle is a Kemp's Ridley, which NOAA classifies as "the smallest sea turtle" in the world, and one of the most endangered. They're mostly spotted in Mexico and other parts of the western Gulf coast, but they're occasionally seen nesting in Florida.

If you spot a sea turtle in distress, you can call FWC's Wildlife Alert 888-404-FWCC, *FWC or #FWC. You can also text your tip to Tip@MyFWC.com.

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