Constipated Sea Turtle Released in the Keys

Turtle released after a month on human laxatives

By Todd Wright
|  Friday, Apr 23, 2010  |  Updated 7:23 AM CDT
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Constipated Turtle Released

Pal the loggerhead turtle gets to roam the open ocean once more thanks to the Turtle Hospital and Metamucil.
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When you gotta go, you gotta go. Unfortunately for a 200-pound loggerhead sea turtle, he couldn't go and therefore he couldn't dive.

Enter the good doctors at the Turtle Hospital in the Florida Keys, who diagnosed "Pal" with a serious digestive problem and used a pretty common human remedy to solve the reptile's bowel issues.

"The turtle couldn't go to the bathroom so we gave him Metamucil to help him with that," said Richie Moretti of the Turtle Hospital.

Now Pal is swimming, and pooping, just like any other healthy loggerhead in the wild. He was released off Marathon on Thursday.

Doctors said Pal's digestive system was overloaded by his seaweed intake. That's a potentially fatal issue for sea turtles because they need to take a dump in order to take a dive.

Pal was found by four fishermen off the Lower Keys who noticed the turtle couldn't submerge itself under the water. No diving means no food and also leaves sea turtles susceptible to predators from above and below.

Turtle doctors spent the next month curing Pal's back up problem with antibiotics, oils and the laxative found in most homes.

According to the Metamucil website, the company doesn't produce a seaweed flavor, but that didn't seem to matter to Pal.

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