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

Charley was treated for a stomach impaction after swallowing plastic.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Andy Newman
    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.

    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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