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Rescued Turtle Heading To New Home In San Diego

Staff at the Turtle Hospital in Marathon, Florida examine

Credit: Turtle Hospital

Above: Staff at the Turtle Hospital in Marathon, Florida examine "Sapphire," a subadult loggerhead sea turtle, Sept. 23, 2014.

A loggerhead sea turtle that has convalesced at the Florida Keys-based Turtle Hospital for more than a year will be transported by FedEx to a permanent home near San Diego.

Hospital staffers were making final preparations Wednesday for the turtle's journey. The 129-pound subadult female named Sapphire can't be released because she can't submerge without weights attached to her carapace.

Sapphire was rescued in February 2010 with a wound that likely came from a boat strike. She was treated for 45 days and freed after appearing to fully recover. But in May 2013, she was found floating off the Keys.

State wildlife officials deemed Sapphire needed a "forever home."

On Thursday two hospital staffers will accompany Sapphire on the approximately 2,500-mile journey to Chula Vista's The Living Coast Discovery Center.

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