VIRGINIA BEACH -- A Kemps ridley sea turtle is back at the Virginia Aquarium Marine Animal Care Center after being released last Wednesday, officials said.
Voldemort had a short-term stay after being hooked the weekend before at Buckroe Fishing Pier in Hampton.
A few days after being released, Voldemort was hooked again at the Naval Station Norfolk recreational fishing pier. Officials say this hook was lodged deep in his throat.
Sean Back with Beach Pet Hospital performed surgery to safely remove the hook. Two other turtles that were rescued by the Stranding Response Team this weekend had similar surgery today at Beach Pet Hospital. All are expected to make a full recovery and be released after they complete their post op rehabilitation.
Virginia Aquarium Senior Scientist Susan Barco said, “It is prime sea turtle season so we continue to get calls from recreational fishermen who have accidentally hooked a sea turtle. We are pleased that our outreach program of educating the local fishing piers is working and they are following recommended procedures when a sea turtle is hooked.”
• To avoid catching a sea turtle, do not cast your line if you see a turtle in the area.
• If you catch a sea turtle while fishing in Virginia, immediately call the Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Program at: 757 385-7575. While you wait for the response team…
• Keep hands away from the turtle’s mouth and flippers.
• Use a net or lift the turtle by the shell to bring it on the pier or land. Do not lift by the hook or by pulling on the line. If the turtle is too large to net/lift, try to walk it to shore. When you have control of the sea turtle, use blunt scissors/knife to cut the line, leaving at least two feet of line to aid the responders in dehooking.
• Leave the hook in place as removing it could cause more harm.
• Keep the turtle out of direct sunlight, and cover the shell with a damp towel.
• If you cannot reach the response team and are unable to bring the turtle to shore, cut the line as short as possible to release the turtle.