Turtle takes flight

Matthew, a 230-pound adult loggerhead turtle, departed to its forever home at Sea Turtle Inc. on South Padre Island, Texas, on Sunday. The turtle was rescued by the Turtle Hospital in May 2020 after it was found with an old boat strike injury on the back of its carapace and was unable to submerge. The turtle is now fitted with weights that allow it to dive. The Turtle Hospital transferred Matthew to Sea Turtle Inc. to make room for sick and injured sea turtles that can be rehabilitated. Matthew will act as an ambassador for its species in Texas. Turtles Fly Too, a group of volunteer pilots, transported the sea turtle. The pilots donate their time, the use of their aircraft and fuel for the trip. Marathon residents and pilots Susan and Al Simmons flew the mission in their PC12 out of Florida Keys Marathon International Airport.