Panama City- Gulf World Marine Park officials are hoping to turn a tragedy into a lesson for fishermen.
They say a sea turtle, that received a delicate surgery last week, died Tuesday night.
Gulf World staff had nick-named the Kemp's Ridley “Captain Hook”.
He was suffering from wounds inflicted by two different sets of fishing line and hooks.
When Captain Hook arrived at Gulf World earlier in the month, he was in bad shape.
He had a fish hook in his mouth, and fishing line had severed one of his front flippers.
When veterinarians looked at the turtle’s x-rays, they found another hook and line inside of him.
"The line was all the way through the intestines so I had to make a very large incision to work all that stuff out," said Dr. Lydia Staggs.
The turtle was on the mend, until Tuesday night.
Dr. Staggs says he took a turn for the worse and died.
"It's tough when you lose an animal. These are animals that I'm not even attached to. These are just wild animals that come in and we treat them so it is hard. It gets to you," said Dr. Staggs.
Unfortunately, this turtle was not an isolated case.
"We have a lot of sea turtle injuries involving hooks and lines quite a bit. We actually have another animal here that is a green sea turtle that swallowed a line and that is coming out in pieces," said the veterinarian.
Dr. Staggs is urging fishermen to use a little extra caution to help limit injuries to marine life.
Instead of tossing tangled fishing line into the trash, use monofilament recycling bins to properly dispose of the line.
"Even when things go to the dump or to a landfill it can still somehow get back to the Gulf so it needs to be disposed properly," said Secret Holmes-Douglas of Gulf World Marine Park.
Gulf world experts hope safety awareness will help keep other animals from harm.
If you or someone you know accidentally catches a sea turtle while fishing, do not cut the line and release the turtle. Experts say that can cause the turtle to swallow the hook, possibly puncturing intestines.
Instead, immediately contact Gulf World or the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.