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Gov. Scott Releases Mended Sea Turtle Off Keys

MARATHON (CBSMiami) -- Florida Gov. Rick Scott has released a recovered green sea turtle off the Florida Keys Tuesday afternoon.

Following a morning cabinet meeting which was moved from Tallahassee to Stanley Switlik Elementary School in Marathon, the governor and other state officials toured The Turtle Hospital, a Marathon-based, state-licensed veterinary hospital dedicated solely to the treatment of sea turtles.

Scott, CFO Jeff Atwater, Attorney General Pam Bondi and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam then boarded boats to travel to the release point with the turtle.

Gov. Scott With Turtle
Gov. Rick Scott, center, holds "Izzy," a green sea turtle with Turtle Hospital staff veterinarian Doug Mader, left, and hospital founder Richie Moretti Tuesday, May 8, 2012, in Marathon. (Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO)

Named "Sas", the 30-pound male turtle was rescued off Long Key in early September 2011 by Bruce Schofield, a Keys commercial fisherman who found the turtle entangled in a lobster trap rope. The turtle was afflicted with fibropapilloma, a herpes-like disease that produces cauliflower-resembling tumors over the turtle.

"Getting to do things like this and to take Sas back out and release him  it is a real honor," said Governor Scott.

Through a series of surgeries, exterior tumors were removed from and an endoscopy was done to confirm the absence of internal tumors.

The turtle was named "Sas," for Schofield's twin daughters, Samantha and Sabrina. reported it is the first time "in anyone's memory" that the governor and Cabinet have met in the Keys.

"What they are doing here to save these turtles is really nice," said Governor Scott.

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