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Experimental Turtle Surgery Performed In NC

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File photo of a sea turtle (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

File photo of a sea turtle (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Veterinarians from N.C. State University have successfully completed experimental skull surgery on an endangered sea turtle.

A 10-person team of doctors and assistants operated Thursday on Holden III, a green sea turtle found on a North Carolina beach a month ago. The turtle had a three-inch head wound that exposed the brain’s protective membrane. Veterinarians believe a boat propeller caused the injury.

Dr. Greg Lewbart installed an external wire brace to hold the skull fragments in place while the turtle heals. It was the first time the procedure was used on a sea turtle.

Lewbart says the surgery was a success, but Holden III will need about a year’s worth of rehabilitation before being released back into the wild.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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