Flood Warning issued September 21 at 8:56PM EDT expiring September 26 at 2:00PM EDT in effect for: Hillsborough
Mrs. Turt Lee is injured but floating calmly in a tub at Mote Marine Laboratory's rehab hospital in Sarasota.
"It looks like a propeller hit her. You can see clear propeller marks, slashes through her top shell," said aquarium biologist Rebecca Hazelkorn.
Turt Lee was named after her rescue Sunday a mile off Longboat Pass.
An unknown sharp object was spotted sticking out of her shell, but it fell out before rescuers got to her.
The injuries to the 230-pounder keep her from being able to dive.
Hazelkorn is one of those involved in efforts to save the loggerhead turtle. She said it never gets easy seeing animals like this turtle in such rough shape.
"It's very hard. It's hard to see any animal come in, but especially when they are coming in because they are getting stuck in crab traps or boat strikes. It really hits home," she said.
This turtle has had a hard life. Along with the boat strike, she has several other injuries, including marks from a shark bite on her shell.
But rehab specialist Paul Hillbrand said turtles have an amazing ability to recover.
"They can have a complete boat strike that breaks their shell and goes all the way down to their lung, and the bone will heal back over and they'll have a full recovery. It could take a year, but it still happens," he said.
Caregivers at the aquarium said what happened to Mrs. Turt Lee is a reminder for boaters to be extra careful in the water.
"You always gotta be on the lookout. It is nesting season. There are more turtles coming around. It's really important for boaters to be on the lookout because these guys can pop up anywhere and everywhere," said Hazelkorn.
Turt Lee was also nicknamed Fat Tire because rescuers used a tire to move her.
One day they hope to move her again back to her home in the Gulf.