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Jolly green giant: 330-pound sea turtle released off Keys


    Florida Keys-based Turtle Hospital and U.S. Coast Guard staff release “Jolly,” a 330-pound-female green sea turtle, off the Florida Keys near Marathon, Fla., Friday, March 10, 2017. The large turtle was discovered Feb. 8, 2017, entangled in several crab trap marker lines and was rescued. Hospital veterinary officials amputated a portion of the right rear flipper and the reptile quickly recovered.

MARATHON, Fla. >> A 330-pound green sea turtle nicknamed Jolly has been released off the Florida Keys after convalescing from a partial flipper amputation.

Named after wildlife officers who helped rescue her last month, the adult female turtle was returned to the wild Friday. She had been rescued from being tangled in multiple crab trap lines.

Turtle Hospital ‘s veterinary team partially amputated her right rear flipper, and Jolly quickly recovered.

Hospital manager Bette Zirkelbach says it was important to get the mature female back into the wild because turtle nesting season in the Florida Keys begins in April.

Zirkelbach says sea turtles aren’t reproductive until they’re 20 or 25 years old. She says Jolly is likely at least 50 years old.

The green sea turtle is listed as a threatened species in the Atlantic Ocean.

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