OKALOOSA ISLAND, Fla. (WKRG) — A fisherman accidentally hooked a massive, 217-pound female turtle on the Okaloosa Island Pier Tuesday morning, July 5.

Once foul-hooked, the fisherman left the line attached to the turtle. Pier staff worked with local anglers and Gulfarium crews to bring the turtle to shore.

Okaloosa Island Pier said two fishing rods, wads of fishing line and a piece of a tire were tangled and dragging behind the turtle. Pier staff said the piece of tire was smaller than a dinner plate.

Carole during transport to Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Cetner on July 5

The Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center team named the female loggerhead ‘Carole.’ She is undergoing treatment at the facility on Okaloosa Island. The center provided an update on her condition Wednesday afternoon.

Carole, the 217 pound loggerhead that was rescued off of Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier on July 5, 2022, is doing well. Upon arrival at the C.A.R.E. Center, Dr Julie Cavin, the Gulfarium’s Staff Veterinarian, removed the entangled fishing line from the turtle’s front right flipper and conducted x-rays and bloodwork. We were happy to discover that there were no internal hooks that Carole had ingested. She is currently receiving fluids and antibiotics for the entanglement wound. 

Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center

The Gulfairum provides updates when crews release rehabilitated turtles on their social media pages.

Okaloosa Island Pier issued tips on how to help native sea turtles during the active nesting season.

  • Leave no trace. Fill holes and take your trash with you.
  • Use red and amber flashlights on the beach at night!
  • Accidentally hook turtle? Do not cut the line. On the pier, let our staff know immediately and call Florida Wildlife and Conservation.
    • Work slowly towards the beach until the stranding team arrives.
  • If you come across a nesting sea turtle or a turtle making its way to shore, admire it from afar and leave it alone.

The turtle hotline number with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is 888-404-3922.

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