The Leo family was on board their sailboat when 7-year-old Kate spotted a fishing pole sticking straight up out of the water. As the family got closer it became clear a green sea turtle was entangled in the fishing line attached to the pole, dragging the pole through the water.
Thanks to Kate and the Leo’s quick thinking, the sea turtle, Kate named “Twitch,” has a chance for rehabilitation and re-release back into the wild.
Kate was sad about the turtle and didn’t want to talk about the experience, but her mother explained, “this is an opportunity to tell others about how important it is to keep our oceans clean and what to do if you see an animal in trouble.”
All sea turtles in U.S. waters are listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. If you see marine life in trouble, you can help by calling trained responders, take photos, and stay with the animal if conditions are safe. The best way to help sea turtles in Texas is by calling 1-(866)-TURTLE5.
Photo credit: Dr. Jennifer Leo/Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Scientific Permit number SPR-0417-123.