(Videos courtesy Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium)
SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) – A loggerhead sea turtle is in critical condition at Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium after being rescued on March 27.
The adult female turtle was reported by a citizen to Mote’s Stranding Investigations Program.
The citizen was off the Venice Jetty and noticed the turtle swimming strangely and called the 24-hour hotline.
Mote’s partners at the Venice Police Department responded and the Mote team coordinated with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office to respond to the turtle.
The loggerhead turtle was unable to dive more than a few feet, could not stay down in the water and was not trying to leave the area when approached.
The turtle was considered in critical condition, was taken to Mote’s hospital and placed in low water overnight.
The turtle was nicknamed “Joyce,” after Venice officer Paul Joyce, who was the first trained responder on scene.
Mote Marine confirms Joyce began to become more alert over the weekend.
She is still in critical condition and has not yet eaten.
The Mote team is working to identify a reason for her stranding.
If you see a distressed or diseased sea turtle, manatee, dolphin or whale in Sarasota or Manatee County, call Mote’s Stranding Investigation’s Program at 941-988-0212.
For all other Florida counties, call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 888-404-3922.