A Female sea turtle is on her way to recovery after she was severely injured in what was likely a shark attack, according to Zoo Miami.
The large loggerhead female, named “Baymax,” was rescued from the Port St. Lucie Power Plant with a severe wound to its left front flipper. Zoo keepers said the wound left the turtle with torn flesh and exposed bone.
The zoo said the wound was likely the result of a shark attack and required immediate attention and care.
While the Zoo was still preparing for the official ribbon cutting ceremony for its new Sea Turtle Hospital, the care center had already passed inspection and was cleared to accept sick and injured sea turtles like Baymax.
Upon arrival, Baymax weighed 388 pounds and appeared to have scars on its shell that indicated she had possibly been struck by a boat and bitten by another shark earlier in its life. After a close examination, including an ultrasound, it was discovered Baymax was laden with eggs.
The Animal Health staff of the hospital stabilized Baymax and gave her calcium and oxytocin to help stimulate her egg-laying in hopes she could deposit her eggs. By Tuesday, May 24, Baymax had deposited over 100 eggs which were later transported by the Miami-Dade Parks Sea Turtle Conservation Program staff with the approval of FWC and inserted into a man-made nest for incubation.
Baymax then underwent surgery where the exposed damaged bone was removed. The entire procedure took several hours, the zoo said.
Though the procedure went well, this individual still has several challenges ahead of her. However, thanks to her care at Zoo Miami, she has received her best chance for survival. Staff said they hoped Baymax will overcome those challenges and be back in the wild soon.