Endangered sea turtle lays 6 eggs at US hospital

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In this photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, Bette Zirkelbach, directly behind the turtle, trailed by veterinarian Dr. Doug Mader, pushes a gurney to move the endangered hawksbill sea turtle at the Florida Keys-based Turtle Hospital, Sunday, Sept. 2, 2012, in Marathon, Fla. (AP Photo/Florida Keys News Bureau, Andy Newman)

MARATHON, Fla. — An injured endangered sea turtle has laid six eggs after being brought to a turtle hospital in the Florida Keys.

Hospital administrator Bette Zirkelbach says staff was able to harvest the eggs and they have been put in an incubator with sand from the U.S. Virgin Islands. That way if the eggs hatch, the hawksbill sea turtles will be familiar with their native sand.

Any hatchlings will be taken to the same St. Croix beach where the mother was found Aug. 24.

Officials say the turtle has deep wounds on both shoulders and might have been hooked by a fisherman and then repeatedly gaffed to remove the fishing gear.

The mother is in guarded condition.

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