KEY LARGO, Fla. -- Officials say a large green turtle has been found with a spear shot into its neck in the Florida Keys, and they are offering a reward for any tips that lead to an arrest.
The 150-pound turtle was found by a good Samaritan Saturday off Key Largo. The 150lb turtle had a 3-foot spear in the base of its neck, with a lobster trap line and buoy caught around it.
FWC says that veterinarians at The Turtle Hospital in Marathon performed emergency surgery to remove the spear. X-rays showed the spear spanned more than half of the turtle's body.
Veterinarians at the hospital say the turtle, named Splinter, is in stable condition.
The spear has been saved as evidence for state wildlife investigators looking into the attack.
A turtle was previously found dead from a spear wound in Biscayne National Park in June.
Sea turtles are a protected species.
FWC says this act of cruelty is unacceptable and their officers are currently investigating this case. If you have additional information related to this case, or if you see an injured, dead or sick sea turtle, call their Wildlife Alert hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922).