March 16, 2012 at 11:37 AM ET
This is one lucky loggerhead! Just weeks after a 4 inch-long fishing hook got caught in this turtle's throat, it was released back into the ocean Thursday, looking healthy and rehabilitated.
The 100-pound turtle arrived at SeaWorld Orlando after being rescued from an intake canal at the St. Lucie Power Plant in St. Lucie County, Florida. In Orlando, the turtle immediately underwent surgery after x-rays revealed the stuck hook. The fishing hook was one of the largest the team has ever removed, according to SeaWorld veterinarians.
Sadly, this isn't an isolated case either. Traditional J-shaped fishing hooks are more likely to be swallowed by sea turtles, causing suffocation or internal bleeding. Using circle-shaped hooks and properly disposing of all trash and fishing lines can reduce the risk of the creatures swallowing such dangerous items.
As for this turtle, all of us here hope it has a hook-free life now that it's back home!