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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 following video†lets everyone share the joy of Andre’s release.

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Photo from Reemul via Flickr Creative Commons

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821 comments

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2:26PM PDT on Jun 28, 2015

????

10:52PM PDT on Jun 3, 2015

I'm very sad to read the comments.

3:13PM PDT on Jun 1, 2015

Ulrike R,Is so very right Care2 repeats these same articles over and over again without checking the new versions out...also they never answer you

11:39AM PDT on May 31, 2015

After reading such a wonderful, heart warming story I am so sad to hear that Andre lost his life and I only found this out from reading the comments. It's good to know though that there are people out there who will bend over backwards to help an animal in need.

1:39AM PDT on May 31, 2015

CARE2! LET'S HAVE SOME TRANSPARENCY HERE! DON'T LET US DOWN IN NOT TELLING US THE TRUTH. WHAT THE HELL IS A GOOD STORY UNLESS IT HAS A HAPPY ENDING? AND IF NOT, THEN LET US DECIDE. ALL WE WANT IS THE TRUTH. WE CAN HANDLE THE TRUTH. JUST NOT COVERING UP.

1:29AM PDT on May 31, 2015

Oh poop. In response to below! :-(

1:28AM PDT on May 31, 2015

OhMyGoodness. How awesome. And what a kool animal!!

2:23PM PDT on May 30, 2015

Thank you VERY MUCH for your comment, Pats K. !! You are so right being so disappointed of care2 for not making this sad update - and repeating this "first part" of the story over and over as a "success story".

I wrote to care2 myself a few days ago, after I noticed this "care2 favorite" again - and I asked them to at least make the update on Andre`s sad fate after his release. They didn`t answer me - and there is still no update here....

So, people, to all of you who cheer and are happy for Andre: please be aware that he DIED NOT EVEN (!!!!) 3 weeks after his release. It was 3 weeks after that he was FOUND - he did NOT live for 3 more weeks !

It is so lovely that there were so many helping hands and caring hearts involved in his - first - rescue and cure of his severe injuries !! But I agree - this poor fellow should have remained in the shelter.

Please care 2 - now consider not repeatedly posting this SAD STORY as a "care2 favorite" over and over again - and please do the update.

3:04AM PDT on May 30, 2015

I wonder if those boat owners would be just as blind as they were, had this been a human being that they let their propellers cut up. He was the same size as a adult person.

9:27PM PDT on May 29, 2015

Poor Andre. I'm so sorry he died so quickly after his release. Perhaps it would have been better to keep him in captivity, but then again, who knows? His body was apparently found in such poor condition a cause of death could not be determined, which suggests to me he didn't survive long at all. Kudos to all those who tried to help him.

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