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A green sea turtle with an irreparable collapsed lung was loaded onto a FedEx plane at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport early Thursday for the journey to his new home in Las Vegas. Richie Moretti of the Keys-based Turtle Hospital, who is also traveling to Nevada, is seen accompanying the turtle in this video provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau.
A green sea turtle with an irreparable collapsed lung that spent years at the Florida Keys Turtle Hospital made his official debut in Las Vegas Monday.
The 320-pound turtle - named OD after the Key Largo dive boat Ocean Diver that rescued him in 2008 - is now on display at The Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
OD spent five years at the Turtle Hospital, during which he couldn't be released because of his condition. The hospital's request for a "forever home" for OD was answered by the Shark Reef Aquarium earlier this year and OD was flown to Las Vegas in July.
"We really loved OD," Turtle Hospital Director Richie Moretti said in a statement. "We knew that we were doing the right thing to move him from our 100,000-gallon rehab pool to a facility more than 10 times larger."
He spent about two months in a quarantine husbandry tank and now he'll be spending his time in a 1.3-million-gallon tank along with other sea turtles and marine life.
"To watch video of him swimming in that large tank with other marine animals was most gratifying," Moretti said.