OD the Green Sea Turtle Leaves Florida for New Life in Las Vegas

The turtle was loaded onto a FedEx plane at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport before a 2-leg flight

Saturday, Jul 27, 2013  |  Updated 12:07 PM PDT
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A green sea turtle with an irreparable collapsed lung was loaded onto a FedEx plane at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport early Thursday for the journey to his new home in Las Vegas. Richie Moretti of the Keys-based Turtle Hospital, who is also traveling to Nevada, is seen accompanying the turtle in this video provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau.

A green sea turtle with an irreparable collapsed lung was loaded onto a FedEx plane at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport early Thursday for the journey to his new home in Las Vegas. Richie Moretti of the Keys-based Turtle Hospital, who is also traveling to Nevada, is seen accompanying the turtle in this video provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau.

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A green sea turtle with an irreparable collapsed lung completed a journey from the Florida Keys to Las Vegas Thursday via FedEx, the Florida Keys News Bureau said.

The 320-pound male turtle – named OD after the Key Largo dive boat Ocean Diver that rescued him in 2008 – is moving to his new home at The Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino after almost five years at the Florida Keys-based Turtle Hospital.

Hospital officials had been trying to find a more comfortable home for OD, who is believed to be about 50 years old.

"Our happy ending is releasing them in the wild, but OD going to the aquarium he's going in, is the best life that he will ever have and he'll have people to take care of him," said Richie Moretti, the hospital's founder and director.

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He is expected to be admitted into the 1.3-million-gallon aquarium at Mandalay Bay after a standard 45-day quarantine period, the Florida Keys News Bureau reported. There he’ll live with sea turtles and other marine animals.

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The Turtle Hospital’s ambulance took OD from the Keys to the FedEx facility at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport early Thursday. He was then put on an A300 plane for the two-leg flight to Nevada. The FedEx trip is free, allowing Moretti and manager Bette Zirkelbach to travel with OD and monitor his condition, according to the Florida Keys News Bureau.

OD is due to arrive in Vegas at about 4 p.m. Pacific time, or 7 p.m. Eastern.

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