June 5, 2017 / 3:34 PM / 2 months ago

Conservation group rescue injured turtle off Liberian coast

(Reuters) - A marine conservation group marked World Turtle Day by rescuing an injured loggerhead turtle they found off the coast of Liberia while on an expedition to crack down on illegal fishing.

The crew on Sea Shepherd Global vessel spotted the injured turtle floating on the ocean surface off the coast of Monrovia, Liberia on May 23 and sent dive teams out to bring it to safety.

The turtle, named Stella by the crew, had dislocated its front right flipper and was suffering from trapped air underneath its shell, Sea Shepherd Global said.

"These are common injuries for sea turtles, either sustained by ship-strikes or when roughly discarded from a fishing vessel," Sea Shepherd said.

The turtle was taken to a wildlife sanctuary in Monrovia, where it is recuperating.

Adult male loggerhead turtles are the largest of all hard- shelled turtles, according to National Geographic, and grow to about three feet (0.9 meters) in shell length and weigh approximately 250 pounds (113 kg).

(This story refiles to restore missing word "vessel" in second paragraph.)

Reporting by Eleanor Whalley and Natalia Oriol. Editing by Patrick Johnston

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