An endangered sea turtle, rescued from the home of a Tampa man who was going to kill it and eat it, was released back into the ocean, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission said Friday.
Gary Morse, an FWC spokesman, told NBC 6 that the turtle was released Wednesday and the case has been turned over the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, which will investigate.
In May, the FWC got a tip that a man had caught the turtle and had brought it home to kill it and eat it, Morse said. Officers went to his house and seized the turtle. But they couldn't identify the specific species, so at the time they issued him a warning, Morse said.
The man admitted to the officers that he was going to eat the turtle, Morse said.
After further investigation, officers found out it was an endangered Kemp's Ridley sea turtle, Morse said.
The Florida was taken to the Florida Aquarium for rehab, where it was named "Lucky."