Sea turtle released in Florida to participate in the Tour de Turtles

MARATHON, Fla. (AP) — A juvenile green sea turtle that underwent multiple surgeries to remove cauliflower-like tumors was released off the Florida Keys last week with a satellite tracking transmitter.

‘Tortie’ was treated at Keys-based Turtle Hospital after being rescued last December. The turtle was unable to dive and suffered from fibropapillomatosis – a debilitating tumor-causing disease that develops from a herpes-like virus that affects sea turtle species around the world.

After Tortie’s tumors were removed, the reptile’s treatment included antibiotics, fluids, vitamins and a diet of seafood and green vegetables.

The turtle’s satellite tracker will be monitored as part of the 15th annual Turtle Tour, an online “race” organized by the Sea Turtle Conservancy that tracks the long-distance migration of a contingent of sea turtles over three months.

“In addition to the educational aspect of the Turtles Tour, we also learn where these turtles go and can then look and see if there are any threats the turtles are facing in those areas,” said Dan Evans, lead researcher. . conservation biologist.

Tortie, who was released on Friday, competes in the hard-shelled tortoise division which includes about a dozen competitors, with a follow-up starting Aug. 1.

“A single sea turtle can make a difference, not only going back to the ocean and having baby sea turtles, but the larger litter helps people care about sea turtles and our oceans,” Bette said. Zirkelbach, general manager of the hospital.