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A Year After Boats Shatter His Shell, Turtle Swims Free

A Year After Boats Shatter His Shell, Turtle Swims Free

Editorís note:†This post is a Care2 favorite. It was originally posted on August 4, 2011. Enjoy!

Hundreds of supporters cheered on August 3rd as Andre, a 177 pound green sea turtle, crawled into the water and swam out of sight. A year ago no one was predicting he could be saved.

In June 2010, Andre was found on a Juno Beach sandbar, his shell shattered by two different propellers. Associated Press reported, “More than three pounds of sand were inside him, along with at least a couple of crabs, a raging infection and a collapsed lung. His spinal cord was exposed, pneumonia was plaguing him and death seemed certain.”

Fortunately for Andre, help was a few miles away. The staff at Loggerhead Marinelife Center specialize in conserving threatened and endangered sea turtles. Loggerhead veterinarian Dr. Nancy Mettee and her team set to work on the immediate, life-threatening injuries.

Dr. Alberto Vargas, a Jupiter, Florida orthodontist heard about Andre and offered to see what he could do to mend the turtle’s shell. Just as he would do with a human patient, Dr. Vargas took molds of the shell and used them to create orthodontic appliances to gather together the shattered remnants of the carapace (upper part of the shell).

The plucky turtle’s determination to live won the hearts of all who worked to save him and all who heard his tale. So when Andre was returned to the sea and began swimming away, a cheer went up from the crowd.

The first video shows some of the creative and determined people who worked to save Andre. The second lets everyone share the joy of his release.

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Photo from Reemul via Flickr Creative Commons

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610 comments

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9:47AM PDT on Aug 26, 2014

Merci pour cette belle action. Cela me redonne confiance en l' homme et du courage pour continuer à me battre pour la cause animal.

4:17AM PDT on Aug 15, 2014

It is just so lovely to see people that care so very much - it makes the world so much nicer. A couple of articles say he was found dead? I so hope this isn't true.

4:17AM PDT on Aug 15, 2014

It is just so lovely to see people that care so very much - it makes the world so much nicer. A couple of articles say he was found dead? I so hope this isn't true.

1:53PM PDT on Aug 7, 2014

ty for this encouraging article. one commentor said he was found dead, but I didn't see that in the article. where does this info come from?

2:31AM PDT on Aug 3, 2014

Liked and shared.Thank you

7:25PM PDT on Aug 2, 2014

It's so gratifying to see that those who care, can actually make a difference for those that need assistance.

9:46AM PDT on Aug 2, 2014

Thank you.

8:41AM PDT on Aug 2, 2014

Thanks for sharing and WELL DONE ANDRE!

12:56AM PDT on Aug 2, 2014

I would like to thank all Care2 members who already signed my petition.
if no, please help give an happy end to that sad story :
1) Care 2
2) PeticaoPublica.com

But unfortunately this is still not the end of the sufferings for those animals. This Monday 28th july a stray horse was hit by a car and was euthanized due to an open fracture. link : Tribuna de Petropolis
As some people of the city and from the neighborhoods, took them to a sanctuary*, the hope is rising, it's up to you to make it grow by still sharing the petitions. I will tell you more about the sanctuary in the next update...

Thank you for caring

11:07PM PDT on Aug 1, 2014

Thanks to all the people who took care of Andre. He was free and in home in the ocean. I am sad that he was found dead :(

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