- Associated Press - Thursday, May 11, 2017

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) - In a story May 11 about a sea turtle being released into the wild, The Associated Press reported erroneously how the turtle was hurt. It was tangled in a rope pulled up with a shrimp trawl; it was not actually caught in the net.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Sea turtle tangled in rope now back in the wild

Nine months after it was tangled in a rope, a young endangered sea turtle is back in the wild in south Louisiana

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) - Nine months after being tangled in a rope, a young, endangered sea turtle named Raye is back in the wild in south Louisiana.

The Audubon Nature Institute and Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said Thursday that the male Kemp’s ridley sea turtle was released Wednesday in Lake Calcasieu in Cameron Parish, near the area where he was accidentally caught about a half-mile offshore.

The agencies say in a news release that shrimper Bobby Aguillard called federal authorities July 26 to report catching the turtle. It had gotten tangled in a rope attached to a crab trap. That rope in turn got snagged by a line attached to the shrimper’s trawl.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s fisheries division put him in touch with Mandy Tumlin, Louisiana’s marine mammal and sea turtle stranding and rescue program coordinator.

Aguillard brought the animal to shore in Cameron Parish and state wildlife biologists brought him to Audubon, where the veterinarian found that the turtle was a bit underweight and dehydrated, and had a mouth and shoulder injury possibly caused by the ropes.

The staff at Audubon’s Coastal Wildlife Network named him Raye and fed him through a tube for a few days, until he could eat on his own. He also received antibiotics, fluids and pain medication.

Without Aguillard and people like him, authorities might not have found the turtle until it was too late, said Tumlin and Gabriella Vazquez, her counterpart at Audubon Coastal Wildlife Network.

“I encourage anyone who may encounter a live marine mammal or sea turtle to report it to us as soon as possible,” but not touch it unless a wildlife expert says to, Tumlin said.

“Depending on the situation, we will walk observers through any necessary rescue efforts or advise if behaviors are normal and the animal should be left alone,” she said.

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