Multiple Florida sea turtles have been attacked this year. A turtle was found and rescued with a 3-foot-long spear in its neck, according to the Turtle Hospital in Marathon.
A 150-pound sub-adult turtle named Splinter was found impaled with a stick longer than its entire body. It was taken into surgery where the spear was removed, Turtle Hospital Manager Bette Zirkelbach told CNN affiliate WPEC.
Nearly all species of sea turtle are classified as endangered. They are slaughtered for their eggs, meat, skin, and shells, and suffer from poaching and over-exploitation, says the World Wildlife Fund.
They are protected under the Federal Endangered Species Act of 1973 and Florida's Marine Turtle Protection Act. Florida Statutes restrict the take, possession, mutilation and overall disturbance of marine turtles, nests and eggs, says the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Thankfully, a day after her rescue, Splinter was "looking good in the water and active in her tank," the hospital said.
There have been other recent attacks on marine life. Earlier this month a Satellite Beach woman said that she discovered sea turtle eggs and hatchlings had been burned, according to CNN affiliate WKMG.
In June, a dead sea turtle was found in Biscayne National Park with a spear shaft through its head. In that same month, a woman was arrested on Miami Beach after she was seen "jabbing at the sea turtle nest" with a wooden stake and "stomping all over the nest with her bare feet," according to CNN.
This story has been written and syndicated across GateHouse Media Group's 22 Florida markets.