Off-duty police officers rescue tangled turtle (video)

The leatherback had become caught in a crab trap

Updated: 
Off-Duty Police Officers Rescue Tangled 9 Foot Turtle in Florida

Two off duty police officers saved a leatherback turtle from being caught in a crab trap.

The bad news is leatherback turtles are endangered, but the very good news is that this one was saved!

While boating off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida, Lieutenant Steve Mullen and Officer Brad Smith found a leatherback sea turtle who really needed help.

See also: Record number of green sea turtles nest in Florida

See also: Green sea turtles released back into wild after huge beach clean-up

One of the men can be heard saying: "It's a big turtle, about nine feet long."

The turtle was tangled in a crab trap line and it wrapped around his whole body, his shell, fins, neck, everything.

The buoy was still attached so every time the turtle moved, the line would get tighter and tighter.

The officer can be heard explaining that they're going to try and save the turtle, who is definitely still alive although clearly exhausted.

The men worked tirelessly to get the turtle loose, and the turtle can't wait, the footage shows the beautiful animal clearly looking anxious with the situation.

After some more cutting, the officer finally saves the giant turtle and all is well again as the animal races away through the water.

According to National Geographic, leatherbacks are the largest turtles on earth but their population is 'rapidly declining'.

The main difference between leatherbacks and other turtles is that their outer shells are not as hard, instead being more flexible.

At the end of last year we saw the devastating impact litter is having on animals like turtles.

A video shot on the beach in Costa Rica showed a conservation worker holding a turtle down on the sand so he could extract a plastic fork that had become lodged in the poor animal's nose.

Nathan Robinson from the Leatherback Trust was there when it happened, he said: "As long as we keep using single-use plastic, these instances are going to become increasingly more common.

"We are all going to have to make an effort to reduce plastic pollution if we don't want to see more events like this."

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