NOAA's Office of Law Enforcement is seeking information related to an incident involving a loggerhead turtle found along southern Core Sound near Smyrna, NC, on Sunday, August 26. The loggerhead, which is protected by the Endangered Species Act, sustained what appeared to be a deliberate head injury that required immediate attention.
The animal was recovered alive and transported to the NC State University Veterinary Hospital, where internal images were taken in order to visualize the damage. Due to the severity of its head injury, the loggerhead was euthanized. Veterinary specialists suspect that the injury occurred between 24 to 48 hours before the animal was first found.