GALVESTON, Texas — Beefcake is back in its natural habitat.
The green sea turtle was found entangled in fishing line earlier this month in Galveston.
On Thursday morning, Houston Zoo employees released the turtle back into the Gulf of Mexico.
After Beefcake was rescued, sea turtle hospital keepers transferred the turtle to the Houston Zoo for a veterinary exam. The turtle was then sent back to Galveston for a few weeks of care.
When Beefcake was deemed healthy, the green sea turtle was released back into the Gulf.
"There are five species of sea turtles inhabiting the Gulf of Mexico, all of which are considered to be either threatened or endangered. They include the Kemp’s ridley, green, leatherback, Atlantic hawksbill, and loggerhead sea turtles," the Houston Zoo said.
Anyone who finds or accidentally catches a sea turtle is asked to call 1-866-TURTLE-5 so that an expert can assess the turtle and provide proper care.
The Zoo said sea turtle populations are recovering thanks to the "collaborative effort of scientists, non-profits, universities, grassroots organizations and many dedicated people."
These are some of the threats sea turtles face in the Gulf:
- Plastic pollution
- Entanglement in recreational fishing line, commercial fishing nets and recreational hooks
- Vehicle traffic
- Development of beaches and light pollution