DESTIN — A sea turtle that was missing a flipper from a likely shark attack was rescued Wednesday after a Facebook post and calls from the community initiated efforts by the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The Wildlife Refuge became aware of the injured turtle swimming in the south end of the Destin Harbor after being alerted by a Facebook user who saw pictures of the sea turtle posted in a public group called "Let's Talk Destin."

The call, which came in about 1:30 p.m., sparked a vigorous process to track down the sea turtle, said Brittany Baldrica, the refuge's marine mammal stranding coordinator.

Baldrica said she called the FWC because the refuge needed a boat to rescue the turtle.

"One of their officers was dispatched to that location, and he was able to get out on the gentleman's boat that originally posted the photos," Baldrica said.

The two were able to get the turtle onto the boat. Baldrica said she and an intern did an assessment of the female loggerhead, put her on a stretcher and into an FWC truck.

The turtle was taken to Gulfarium on Okaloosa Island for rehabilitation.

"Her front left flipper was basically missing almost entirely," Baldrica said. "We're assuming it was from a shark bite. Her back left flipper also had shark bite wounds that were actively bleeding."

Baldrica said the turtle's shell also had a visible shark bite outline.

Although the turtle was rescued, refuge Executive Director Carol Anderson said the process is common but not ideal.

"What's most important, we ask folks to not post to Facebook but call us direct," Anderson said.

With it being sea turtle nesting season, Anderson said the refuge gets about four such calls a months.

Anderson said it is important for the community to reach out to agencies like the refuge, FWC, or the Sea Turtle Conservancy if a sea turtle is found injured or caught in fishing gear.

"Those critters, sometimes they're in a really tough spot, and time is of the essence in responding to them," she said. "If they know we're here, they reach out to us. But when folks don't, and they don't know do anything about it, there's a real good chance that's not going to have a happy ending."