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Endangered Sea Turtle Recovering After Surgery To Remove 7-Foot-Long Balloon Ribbon

BOSTON (CBS) – A sea turtle that ingested a 7-foot-long balloon ribbon underwent life-saving surgery and is now on the road to recovery at New England Aquarium.

The Kemp's ridley turtle, which is a critically endangered species, was found cold-stunned on Ellis Beach in Brewster on November 30.

The lengthy ribbon was visible out of the turtle's beak and extended through its digestive tract and out of its rear. Part of the balloon was still attached to the end of the ribbon.

Sea Turtle Balloon Ribbon
A sea turtle that was saved after it ingested a 7-foot-long balloon ribbon. (Image Credit: New England Aquarium)

Rescuers rushed the turtle to the aquarium's Sea Turtle Hospital in Quincy. When it arrived, the turtle was hypothermic, dehydrated and anemic.

The turtle had to be stabilized for several days before it could undergo surgery.

Eventually, the turtle had surgery to remove the ribbon, which had not yet severely damaged its intestine. The turtle is now recovering well and will be released back into the ocean off Cape Cod this summer.

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