Sea turtle near Delray dies after consuming fishing line

Dugan, an adult green sea turtle rescued near Delray Beach on Tuesday, died two days later with fishing line in his intestines, according to Gumbo Limbo Nature Center. The center is pointing to his death as reason to recycle fishing line and keep the ocean clear of debris. (Courtesy of Gumbo Limbo)

DELRAY BEACH — A sea turtle that washed ashore near Delray Beach this week died after a boat strike and consuming material used in fishing lines. And Boca Raton-based Gumbo Limbo Nature Center is pointing to the death as reason to keep the ocean clear of debris.

Dugan, the adult male green sea turtle rescued in Highland Beach on Tuesday, died Thursday, the nature center said. He washed ashore with severe external injuries likely caused by a boat strike.

Turtle rehabilitation specialists operate on Dugan, an adult green sea turtle rescued near Delray Beach on Tuesday. Dugan later died due to complications from fishing line in his intestines. (Courtesy of Gumbo Limbo)

Delray Beach Fire Rescue and Highland Beach Nesting Patrol assisted in the rescue.

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But upon closer examination, the Boca Raton turtle rehabilitation center determined that monofilament, a material used in fishing lines, tangled in his intestines, causing them to coil so food could no longer be digested. 

“This is a reminder to everyone to recycle your monofilament at recycling stations located on piers or take it home,” Gumbo Limbo Nature Center wrote on its Facebook page. “It’s important to keep our oceans trash-free for the safety of all marine life.”

The combination of intestinal damage and injuries from the boat strike led to the turtle’s death. The sea turtle was initially in stable condition after the rescue, the nature center said.

Gumbo Limbo rescues and rehabilitates about 75 percent of the sea turtles that are brought to the facility, at 1801 N Ocean Blvd., but “unfortunately not every patient can be saved,” the nature center said.