KEY WEST - A 210-pound Loggerhead sea turtle arrived at the Key West Aquarium Wednesday for some R-and-R, with the hopes he can eventually be released back into the wild.
Hunter, an adult male, was originally admitted to the Florida Keys-based turtle hospital in august 2012.
After extensive treatment, Hunter was released in December 2013, but was rescued again this past November.
Hospital officials said Hunter had lockjaw, was unable to eat and developed pneumonia.
His treatment included antibiotics, daily jaw-stretching exercises and surgery to remove a fishhook lodged in the reptile's shoulder.
A Keys veterinarian determined two remaining hooks were in areas too risky for a surgical procedure.
"Hunter weighs in at 210 pounds, is probably 35 years old and he's an adult male Loggerhead. That means he's a reproductive male. So we're going to give him about two years of R-and-R here at Key West Aquarium. Then, the hope is to get him back out in the wild where he can make more turtle babies," turtle hospital manager Bette Zirkelbach explained.
Hunter was transferred to the aquarium to make room to treat other injured turtles at the turtle hospital. He will be monitored and eventually return to the hospital for radiographs to determine if the fishhooks have dissolved.