Sea turtle who had global following found dead

August 25, 2011 - 11:50 AM

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A sea turtle who survived catastrophic injuries and underwent a year of rehabilitation and innovative surgeries has been found dead, three weeks after he was released off the Florida coast.

Loggerhead Marinelife Center said Andre, as he was known, was found Wednesday on Hutchinson Island. He was in such bad condition that what killed him couldn't be determined. An identification tag confirmed it was him.

Andre was found split open and stranded in June 2010 with massive injuries. Veterinarians used cutting-edge techniques to save him, including vacuum therapy and orthodontics.

The turtle's story was followed by many of the 225,000 annual visitors to the center and through a round-the-clock webcam. Children flooded him with mail and checks flowed in from around the world to support his care.