The veterinarians caring for him found signs that this incident was no accident.
The 150 pound turtle, named Splinter, was found on Carysfort Reef off Key Largo last weekend with a spear protruding from its neck. Splinter is now being treated at Turtle Hospital in the Florida Keys.
“The turtle has an injury on its… or underneath where it looks like somebody tried to spear the turtle but there’s bone there so they must have tried to spear it from underneath and then went for the neck when it didn’t work so it does not look like an accident,” Bette Zirkelbach of Turtle Hospital said.
Hospital staff believe Splinter has been suffering for at least a month.
“A lot of necrotic tissue has grown around it and there was what we call granuloma on the neck from the spear rubbing when the turtle moves its head,” Zirkelbach said.
While medics at Turtle Hospital work to save Splinter, wildlife officials are attempting to find the person, or persons, responsible.
A $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the individual who injured Splinter.