Obama turtle freed on Independence Day

July 5, 2009 7:40:40 AM PDT
A sea turtle named after President Barack Obama that was rescued just before Inauguration Day has been set free on Independence Day.

Obama the loggerhead sea turtle was found ailing off a Key West beach on Jan. 19, the eve of the inauguration. Suffering from an intestinal impaction, the 200-pound female was nursed back to health with a diet of squid and mineral oil at the Turtle Hospital in Marathon.

Turtle Hospital administrator Ryan Butts said the turtle was set free Saturday on a Key West beach as about 100 people watched. He says it was appropriate to give the loggerhead its liberty on the Fourth of July after being rescued at a historic moment.

He says the loggerhead "took off" after being set on the sand and "swam away with all the energy it had."

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