NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The Audubon Nature Institute has a new friend named Francois, an endangered loggerhead sea turtle rescued from Grand Chenier, Louisiana.

Audubon officials said Francois was rescued in July after someone found him at the Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge floating upside down and in distress. They called the Audubon Coastal Wildlife Network for help.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries partnered with the Audubon team to safely relocate him. After the move, officials say they realized Francois was severely dehydrated and underweight.

When he was placed in water, they discovered he was “positively buoyant,” meaning he was unable to successfully dive under water. Additional tests were done to determine the best course of treatment.

So far, Audubon officials say Francois is progressing and slowly gaining weight as he eats a helping of his favorites, shrimp, squid and smelt.

Francois is set to remain at the Audubon Aquatic Center for the duration of his recovery.

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