Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Turtle Adventure!-Classic Ernie

Just yesterday, I brought you an adventure with big cats, and today I bring you an adventure with big turtles. What more could you want out of a blog? These first two pictures are actually from the same day I saw the cats. I think it was the day before Halloween, 2004. I went to the beach at Ft. DeSoto to try and catch the sunset, but it was overcast. I was wandering around trying to find something to shoot when some guy told me a big turtle had been caught up at the Gulf pier. I wandered that way, thinking the turtle would be long gone by the time I arrived, but I was wrong. There on the sand at the base of the pier was a giant female loggerhead turtle. She had swallowed the hook and bait from a fisherman's line, and it was lodged deep in her throat. The proper authorities had been called, and all anyone could do was wait. About a dozen of us stood around, taking turns pushing the poor girl back up on the sand when she would try to crawl away, and splashing water on her so she wouldn't dry out. I must have taken 200 pictures. You can see how big she was in the picture below. After about two hours, a truck from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium came along, and they loaded her up and took her in for treatment. The next weekend, I drove up there and asked about her. They had gotten the hook out, and she was in a tank wth another turtle where she was doing just fine. You can see her being hand fed at the aquarium in the bottom picture. Quite the adventure!