An egg-laden rare hawksbill sea turtle, airlifted from the US Virgin Islands to a specialist centre in the Florida Keys is fighting for life, a vet says.
Dr Doug Mader, who treated the 123lb turtle on Sunday, said an ultrasound at The Turtle Hospital revealed more than 100 eggs, many which were viable, although he could not confirm if they were fertile.
He stressed that the turtle's condition was grave, but said he and other staff would do all they could to keep it alive because hawksbills are rare and classified as endangered.
Dr Mader ultimately hopes to return the turtle and any hatchlings to St Croix, where it was found in the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac.
But if the turtle does not survive, he said, they would try to recover the eggs and hatch them in an incubator containing Virgin Islands beach sand.