by Jeff Hall, Marine Program Manager
I’ve rescued hundreds….maybe even thousands of animals in my career. From mountain lions and black bears to seals and dolphins, I’ve seen my fair share of different species and had a hand in their rescue. Never in my career have I rescued a Green Sea Turtle, that is until earlier this month!
A man was fishing off a small rocky cliff at Topanga Beach in Malibu when he caught something on his line he wasn’t expecting. Green sea turtles are normally warm-water-loving animals more comfortable in the oceans around Hawaii, or Central and South America. California does have a healthy population of sea turtles, but we usually see Olive-Ridleys in these waters.
The green sea turtle was hooked by the fisherman’s pole and reeled into shore where the line broke and the turtle became wedged into some rocks. As waves crashed around us, the rescue team from the California Wildlife Center and I hoisted the 28-pound turtle to our transport van and quickly took it to the Aquarium of the Pacific. There, the hook was soon removed and the turtle was placed in a rehabilitation tank for recovery. It should be released within a month.