CMA Rescues, Rehabilitates and Releases Yahtzee, a Green Sea Turtle Impacted by Virus and Entanglement
Clearwater Marine Aquarium celebrated its love for marine life this Valentine’s Day with a special sea turtle release at Fred Howard Park.
Yahtzee, a 24-pound juvenile green sea turtle, was released after rehabilitation at CMA. Yahtzee was found floating near New Port Richey in October 2018 wrapped in thick fishing line. He was found with one of his flippers already missing and healed, possibly due to a prior entanglement or predator. Yahtzee also had several fibropapilloma tumors around his body.
CMA rescued Yahtzee, provided fluids and vitamins, and surgically removed the fibropapilloma tumors. The tumors are caused by the fibropapilloma virus, a virus found primarily in green sea turtles that causes tumors to grow externally on soft tissues, including eyes and flippers.
Yahtzee has healed since his surgery and was cleared for release by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission as well as the CMA veterinary team.
All marine turtle footage taken in Florida was obtained with the approval of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) under conditions not harmful to marine turtles. Footage was acquired while conducting authorized conservation activities pursuant to FWC MTP-19-172.