NC Aquarium staff successfully removes two hooks and stingray barb from sea turtle

By on July 26, 2019

NC Aquariums veterinarian Dr. Emily Christiansen prepares to remove the stingray barb first. (Photos provided by Phil Daniels)


Sea turtles are quite the survivors, and this one is no exception! This 103-lb loggerhead was brought to the STAR Center after it was hooked off a fishing pier this past Saturday. In addition to the large hook in its throat, the turtle had a stingray barb lodged in the roof of its mouth.

The hook was far down the turtle’s throat, and the barb, which was deeply embedded in a sensitive area, created an additional obstacle for removal. It was determined that surgery was required to remove both, and NC Aquariums veterinarian Dr. Emily Christiansen arrived the following day.

Radiograph image with embedded stingray barb highlighted

A radiograph image was taken to see the hook’s exact location. After reviewing the scan, it was revealed there were actually two hooks in the turtle’s throat. It was determined that the newly-discovered hook was from a previous encounter because it was deeply embedded in the esophagus.

Surgical removal of the two hooks and stingray barb was successful! The turtle remains in our care and our veterinary team is hopeful that it will fully recover and be released in the future.  For more information visit NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island  

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  • Paige

    God bless the NC aquarium for helping this turtle!

    Sunday, Aug 4 @ 10:57 pm