A Turtle’s Journey: Boy hooks loggerhead at Okaloosa Island Pier, locals come to the rescue

A Turtle's Journey

OKALOOSA ISLAND, Fla. (WKRG) — A sea turtle rescue caught on camera in Okaloosa County.

Check out the video above from Sunday at the Okaloosa Island Pier. Jessica Owens posted this on her TikTok.

Owens says a young boy accidentally hooked a turtle while fishing and before they cut the line she jumped in to stop them.

Cutting the fishing line keeps the hook inside the turtle, which can damage their insides and even kill them if left untreated.

Instead, locals came together, called the turtle hotline and used a drop net to bring the turtle ashore.

“It’s true we don’t always get every turtle but we try to be as proactive as we can to rescue as many as we can. “

Eric Brown, Okaloosa Island Pier

The Gulfarium Care Center now has the female loggerhead. They say she weighs more than 100 pounds and actually had another hook already inside of her.

She was also tangled in fishing wire and had a cut on one of her fins.

“At the Care Center we have 12 patients, in 2021 we have received 72. “

Tabitha Siegfried, Sea Turtle Stranding Coordinator

The care center will rehab the turtle back to health and release her into the gulf at a later date.
For those that hook a turtle, bird or even a dolphin, there are signs up all over the pier of what to do.

If you see a stranded or hooked turtle, call *FWC or #FWC. In Florida, you can also call 1-888-404-FWCC (1-888-404-3922).

To report a stranded animal in Alabama, call 1-(866)-SEA-TURT (1-866-732-8878).

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