A green sea turtle, rehabilitated at the Florida Keys-based Turtle Hospital after being entangled in fishing gear, was fitted with a satellite tracking transmitter and released from a Florida Keys beach Friday.
“Fleming” is to join the Tour de Turtles, a three-month-long race that will feature public online monitoring (tourdeturtles.org) of the forward progress of 14 sea turtles. The project is organized by the Sea Turtle Conservancy and the competition is to commence Aug. 1 after four more satellite transmitter-fitted turtles are released.
Several hundred Florida Keys residents and visitors broke out in applause and delight after the turtle swam away from Sombrero Beach.
Tour de Turtles follows the long-distance migration of several different species of sea turtles. The turtle that covers the most distance is declared the winner.
Competitors have been released off coastlines into the Atlantic Ocean as well as eastern and western Caribbean habitats.
The satellite transmitters eventually fall off of the turtles after the devices’ batteries are exhausted.