Two freshwater turtles were nursed back to health after they were found chained together with voodoo dolls in Miami Beach.
The Pelican Harbor Seabird Station released one of the turtles back into the wild on Thursday.
According to the wildlife service, beachgoers found the reptiles swimming in distress back in November. They had holes drilled in the edge of their shells and were connected with a lock and chain. The chain was linked to a bag containing two voodoo dolls, cinnamon cloves and two photos of an unknown couple. Both turtles had shell rot and respiratory infections.
“We have seen interesting cases before, but I have never seen one like this,” said Wildlife Rehabilitation manager Yaritza Acosta.
After 71 days of care, one of the turtles was released at a park in Miami on Thursday. The other turtle is still undergoing treatment.
The wildlife service said they’ve received an osprey, a vulture and two hawks with gunshot injuries in recent weeks.
“It’s always difficult when we receive patients that are admitted as a result of animal cruelty. South Florida’s native birds and wildlife are to be revered and respected, not shot or chained together,” Executive Director Chris Boykin said in a statement.