Officials: Florida man wanted to cook, eat rare sea turtle

'Lucky' rehabbed at Tampa aquarium, released into wild

TAMPA, Fla. - A rare sea turtle that a Florida fisherman wanted to cook and eat has been released back into the wild.

Officials at The Florida Aquarium said the fisherman snagged the Kemp's ridley sea turtle in May. Instead of releasing it back into Hillsborough Bay, he brought it home and put the turtle in a tank in his Tampa backyard.

Aquarium official Susan Coy said the fisherman planned to cook and eat the endangered species, but a neighbor reported him to authorities.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Gary Morse said the fisherman told investigators that he didn't know he had captured a protected sea turtle.

The turtle, dubbed "Lucky," was rehabilitated at the aquarium until Wednesday, when it was released back into the wild.

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