Monday, January 22, 2018
News Roundup

Freud, sea turtle that couldn't swim, is ready for release

TAMPA — A couple of months ago, Freud the sea turtle gave a reassuring sign to his caretakers at the Florida Aquarium: He swam to the bottom of his tank and chilled out.

This was huge progress — just last year, Freud couldn't swim or dive. Aquarium staffers had long suspected a tear in his lungs but couldn't pinpoint the problem for the endangered green sea turtle.

Freud was taken to the aquarium shortly after being discovered on a Panhandle beach in November 2012. He was lethargic, bloated and covered in algae.

So in December, the aquarium began teaming up with USF Health to get diagnostic help with a state-of-the-art advanced imaging system. And the answers they got led to a treatment plan that has Freud ready for the wild again.

A team from the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine's department of radiology analyzed Freud's scans and created three-dimensional models of his lungs to visualize the extent of the damage.

Working with sea turtle expert Dr. Doug Mader of the Marathon Sea Turtle Hospital, the team came up with a diagnosis: bronchopleural fistula, an abnormal connection between the small air tubes of the lung and the space around it.

Since the diagnosis was confirmed in January, the Florida Aquarium team has been treating Freud and in recent months saw big improvements in his swimming abilities, according to a joint news release from the aquarium and USF. Freud could swim to the bottom of the tank and glide across the water effortlessly.

But aquarium veterinarian Kathy Heym said the staff couldn't be certain he was healed. So they reached out again to the USF Health radiology department and recently got another round of CT scans, this time at the USF Health South Tampa Center for Advanced Healthcare imaging facility on the Tampa General Hospital campus.

The CT scans confirmed that Freud's injury has completely healed, with minor residual scarring, so he can safely be released back into the wild, the aquarium says.

The aquarium is working with Florida Fish and Wildlife to determine when and where Freud's release will take place.

"We simply couldn't have done it without the help of our friends at USF Health," Heym said in a statement. "Freud's success is due in a large part to their willingness to utilize their equipment and expertise to help us make a proper diagnosis and develop a plan of action to successfully treat this turtle."

Contact Jodie Tillman at [email protected] or (813) 226-3374. Follow @JTillmanTimes.

   
Comments

The Daystarter: PolitiFact Florida analyzes prison costs; breaking down the Super Bowl matchup; free dental clinic services in high demand; Arrrrr you ready for Gasparilla?

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.• We’ll have a mild and sunny start to the week, with highs in the upper 70s, according to 10Weather WTSP. A weak cold front brings a chance of rain on Tuesday and slightly coo...
Updated: 12 minutes ago

Police: 2 IEDs detonated at a Florida mall, no injuries

LAKE WALES — Police say two improvised explosive devices ignited inside a mall in central Florida on Sunday do not appear to be an act of terrorism.Lake Wales police Deputy Chief Troy Schulze tells news outlets that at 5:22 p.m., the Lake Wales Fire ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
PolitiFact Florida: Claims about prison price-gouging decry $17 soup, $18 tampons

PolitiFact Florida: Claims about prison price-gouging decry $17 soup, $18 tampons

Advocates of Florida prisoners protested outside of the Florida Department of Corrections in Tallahassee on Tuesday, demanding answers to questions of alleged price-gouging in prisons across the state.Protesters from dozens of grass roots organizatio...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Hooper: Deal with sea-level rise or prepare to be inundated

When fans again flock to Tampa’s Bayshore Boulevard for the annual Gasparilla Festival on Saturday, I hope they ask a question: Will the floats need flotation devices in 2035?Erika Spanger-Siegfried, Astrid Caldas and Kate Cell, members of the Union ...
Published: 01/22/18
Add swagger to Lightning’s loss column

Add swagger to Lightning’s loss column

CHICAGO — It didn’t take the sound of a door slamming in the visitor’s dressing room Saturday night to sense this Lightning team is frustrated.Tampa Bay believed it had worked hard against the Wild — at least, harder than it did in Thursday’s letharg...
Updated: 6 hours ago

nationResearchers work to avoid another 1918 super-flu The descriptions are haunting. Some victims felt fine in the morning and were dead by night. Faces turned blue as patients coughed up blood. Stacked bodies outnumbered coffins. A century after on...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Hillsborough diver who died in Eagle’s Nest Cave was adventurous but experienced

Davin Brannon was a pilot, a spearfisherman, an avid cave and open-water diver and an experienced all-around adventurer, said those close to him ."I guess you could say he died doing what he loved," his cousin Pam Kirven said. "But I also know he’d n...
Updated: 7 hours ago
‘Three Billboards’ sweeps female-focused SAG Awards

‘Three Billboards’ sweeps female-focused SAG Awards

LOS ANGELES — The Western-inspired revenge tale Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri swept the female-focused and led Screen Actors Guild Awards Sunday with wins for best ensemble, best actress for Frances McDormand and best supporting actor for...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Shutdown opens week

Shutdown opens week

Associated PressWASHINGTON — The government shutdown will extend into the workweek as the Senate appeared to inch closer to ending a partisan stalemate late Sunday but fell short of agreement. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his Democratic...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Record number of inmates died in Florida prisons last year. And they died younger than past years.

Record number of inmates died in Florida prisons last year. And they died younger than past years.

More inmates died in Florida prisons last year than in any other year on record, leaving the state scrambling to identify causes and find solutions. The tally, 428 inmate deaths in 2017, was released late Friday by the Florida Department of Correctio...
Updated: 8 hours ago