Sea Turtle Released Off Florida Keys After Swimming 2,000 Miles From Colombia

Charley was treated for a stomach impaction after swallowing plastic.

Friday, May 24, 2013  |  Updated 3:04 PM EDT
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Richie Moretti, founder of the Turtle Hospital in Marathon, Fla., examines "Charley," the loggerhead sea turtle, before releasing it about 25 miles off the Florida Keys Friday, May 24, 2013.

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A juvenile sea turtle was returned to the ocean off the Florida Keys after being treated at Marathon's Turtle Hospital.

Charley the loggerhead turtle was treated for a stomach impaction after animal doctors discovered a small piece of plastic in its digestive system.

"It plugged up her bowel and she started to float," Turtle Hospital founder and director Richie Moretti said in a statement. "We gave her some antibiotics and gave her a little Metamucil and she's just much better."

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He said turtles sometimes confuse plastic for jellyfish, which they normally eat.

Officials believe the almost six-pound, foot-long turtle traveled about 2,000 miles from Santa Marta, Colombia, where it was originally released in June 2012. A fisherman found it floating in a Sargasso weed patch on May 10th about 22 miles off the Middle Keys.

"We just gotta keep plastic out of our ocean," Moretti said.

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