CLEARWATER (FOX 13) - Three young green sea turtles returned to their ocean homes after they were found covered with either tumors or barnacles, or both.
Whiz, Nacho and Parmesan were found in bad shape in different parts of Florida between April and May. They were taken to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium for rehabilitation. Whiz was found with tumors on its body near Honeymoon Island State Park. Parmesan was located on the east coast of the state, and also with tumors on its body along with a large amount of barnacles and algae on its shell.
Nacho was found in Daytona, Florida. It was underweight and also encrusted with barnacles. Marine experts discovered it had a tumor on one of its flippers. Parmesan was missing its rear flippers, which aquarium officials expect is genetic.
Both of the endangered sea turtles found on the east coast were treated for the fibropapilloma virus, which causes cauliflower-like tumors.
Months later, Florida Fish and Wildlife officials say they are healed and healthy, making it safe to return to their proper homes. Whiz returned to the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday, while Nacho and Parmesan were released on the east coast of Florida.