Virginia Beach, Va. (WTKR) – The Kemps ridley sea turtle dubbed Voldemort is back at the Virginia Aquarium Marine Animal Care Center after being released not even a week ago.
The turtle had a short term stay at the center after being hooked the weekend before at Buckroe Fishing Pier in Hampton.
On the Fourth of July weekend the turtle wasn’t as lucky. Voldemort was hooked at the Naval Station Norfolk recreational fishing pier and this hook was much deeper than the superficial one it had before.
“Those folks gave us a call and we went out there and realized who it was and he’s back,” explained Virginia Aquarium Senior Scientist Susan Barco.
The Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response team named the turtle Voldemort as part of this year’s naming theme of heroes and villains.
They said that even though Voldemort is the arch enemy of Harry Pottery, the name also means “flight from death” in French.
An x-ray shows the fishing hook was lodged deep in Voldemort’s throat.
Dr. Sean Back, a veterinarian with Beach Pet Hospital, performed surgery to safely remove the hook.
Voldemort was one of five turtles rescued by the Stranding Response Team over the weekend.
“We’re not sure whether there’s a lot more turtles that are being hooked or if we are just finding out about all the turtles that are getting hooked,” Barco told NewsChannel 3′s Todd Corillo.
The staff at the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center offered these recommendations to help protect the sea turtles:
- To avoid catching a sea turtle, do not cast your line if you see a turtle in the area.
- If you catch a sea turtle while fishing in Virginia, immediately call the Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Program at: 757 385-7575. While you wait for the response team…
- Keep hands away from the turtle’s mouth and flippers.
- Use a net or lift the turtle by the shell to bring it on the pier or land. Do not lift by the hook or by pulling on the line. If the turtle is too large to net/lift, try to walk it to shore. When you have control of the sea turtle, use blunt scissors/knife to cut the line, leaving at least two feet of line to aid the responders in dehooking.
- Leave the hook in place as removing it could cause more harm.
- Keep the turtle out of direct sunlight, and cover the shell with a damp towel.
- If you cannot reach the response team and are unable to bring the turtle to shore, cut the line as short as possible to release the turtle.