Houston Zoo workers came to the rescue of a sea turtle that was caught in a fishing line near the Surfside jetty over the weekend.
The sea lion team members were there to pick up trash and educate fishermen about the dangers that discarded fishing line pose to marine life.
Someone alerted them about the entangled turtle so they called the sea turtle hotline (1-866-TURTLE-5). While waiting for a NOAA scientist to arrive, the zoo workers realized the turtle was in trouble and needed immediate help.
Sea lion keeper Heather Crane and her co-workers swam out to the turtle and discovered it was anchored from two spots – its hind flipper and its neck. By the time they had removed the loose line, a NOAA scientist had arrived to finish the job. The turtle was taken to the sea turtle facility in Galveston for treatment.
“It was a special day and I could not be more proud of the team that collaborated to make the rescue successful,” Heather wrote on the zoo’s website. “For me, this is a testament and reminder to the importance of the work we do to keep our waterways clean for animals in the wild, and it makes me proud to work for the Houston Zoo.”
Zoo employees from 14 departments make regular trips to Surfside to pick up trash and recyclables. So far, they’ve collected 729 pounds of trash, 529 pounds of recyclables and 114 pounds of discarded fishing line.
If you see a sea turtle in trouble, be sure and call the sea turtle hotline at 1-866-TURTLE-5).