Loggerhead sea turtle undergoes MRI after prolonged swimming in circles

A 150-pound loggerhead sea turtle was found swimming circles just off the Space Coast.  Animal experts are investigating to determine if the turtle is suffering from some form of neurological disorder.

Officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission found her swimming inside of a lagoon in Brevard County.

"With these tight circles that this sea turtle seems to be swimming in, we believe that this turtle actually has some kind of neurologic dysfunction, whether it be a parasitic infection or maybe some kind of injury to the brain," explained Shannon Gann, Brevard Zoo's sea turtles program manager.

VIDEO: Florida fisherman passes massive whale shark off Florida coast

On Tuesday, the approximately 25-year-old turtle was brought into Rockledge Regional Medical Center to undergo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).


"We can get a better idea of what's going on inside this turtle's head so that we can make better decisions as to how to treat this turtle," Gann added.

Radiologist Shannon Bartlett said she has done hundreds of MRIs but this was a first.

"Having a turtle just laying on the table...see the different views of how a turtle brain looks compared to a human brain is pretty exciting," she said.

Gann said they plan to take the turtle back to the Brevard Zoo Turtle Healing Center where they will administer a feeding tube to help get her food and water and give her antibiotics.

Watch FOX 35 News for the latest Central Florida Headlines: