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Sea turtle recovers after trip to Raleigh for special surgery

TOPSAIL BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Summer is in full swing, and that means it’s busy season at the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Hospital in Topsail Beach.

The facility is full of turtles in need of help. And one in particular just got some special attention. We told you yesterday about an injured sea turtle taken to Raleigh for surgery. Today, we stopped by the hospital to check on patient.

The Sea Turtle Hospital is no stranger to injured animals. Turtles from up and down the coast make their way to the care center to recover from all kinds of ailments, ranging from cold stun to boating encounters.

Founder Jean Beasley says it’s important for boaters to remember they’re sharing the water.

“Those turtles are using the same water as they do,” Beasley said.

Recently, a little green was found on Holden Beach. Rescuers think this turtle, appropriately named Holden III, suffered a severe injury from a boat propeller.

“It was a very serious injury, and our first task is the stabilize the animal,” Beasley said.

After Holden III was healthy enough to make the trip, she traveled to a vet at NC State in Raleigh. The vet used a procedure often used for repairing turtle shells to fix Holden’s head.

Now, the turtle is back at the Sea Turtle Hospital recovering. Holden is dry docked and still on meds, but her caregivers hope she will soon be able to go back in her tank and then hopefully make her way back to the ocean.

“When they’re out of the water, it’s kind of sad to watch them,” Sea Turtle Hospital intern Danielle O’Farrell said. “And when they’re in the water, even if they’re injured, they seem to forget about it. They are just in their element.”

Beasley has a plea for boaters this summer. She says if you do hit something in the water, please check to see what it was. If it is a sea turtle, no matter what the injury, please contact the Sea Turtle Hospital to get help.

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