An adult female loggerhead sea turtle, discovered in an oceanside residential pool in Islamorada on Monday, has been rescued and released off the Florida Keys.
Officials from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and The Turtle Hospital were able to net the turtle, examine it and deem it was healthy. They then carried it back to the Atlantic Ocean.
A Turtle Hospital official believes the female, estimated to weigh about 250 pounds, had climbed up on the beach to lay eggs but had become disoriented and accidentally made its way into the pool.
Sea turtle nesting season in the Florida Keys begins in April and continues through mid-October.
Artificial lighting on beaches in coastal areas can disrupt the ability of nesting females and hatchlings to find the sea, officials said. Turning off lights, shielding them so they can't be seen from a beach or the water or using red, orange or amber outdoor lighting during nesting season helps to prevent disorientation.