A female hawksbill sea turtle that was airlifted from the U.S. Virgin Islands has died while convalescing at the Turtle Hospital in Marathon.
The reptile was named Good Hope after a beach in St. Croix, where it was discovered severely injured after Tropical Storm Isaac brushed the Virgin Islands in late August. She was flown to the Turtle Hospital a month ago.
Hospital officials were surprised she had died and said she was responding to treatment, with improving blood tests. She had been continuing to produce eggs.
She was scheduled to undergo surgery to repair her lower eyelids Tuesday morning but when hospital staff arrived to begin preparations, they discovered her dead.
So hospital veterinarian Doug Mader harvested the 58 remaining eggs and staff is to incubate those deemed viable along with 61 others that are nestled in beach sand shipped from St. Croix. After the remaining eggs are taken, a necropsy is to be performed.