MARATHON, Fla. (AP) — Four juvenile green sea turtles have returned to the Florida Keys-based Turtle Hospital after a Miami veterinary ophthalmologist surgically removed cauliflower-like tumors from their eyes.
The reptiles were treated Thursday by Dr. Lorraine Karpinski, who is pioneering techniques to treat turtles’ eyes afflicted with Fibropapilloma, a herpes-like virus affecting sea turtles around the world.
Karpinski has also prescribed a human anti-cancer medication compounded into eye drops being applied to turtles’ eyes to prevent tumors’ re-growth.
A fifth turtle named Hook, who has received the drug for the past month, was examined by Karpinski, who said the medication appears to be working.
If Hook can remain Fibropapilloma-free for a year, he can be released.
Hospital officials say turtles without vision cannot be freed because they have little chance to survive.
Online: Turtle Hospital, http://www.turtlehospital.org