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

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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.


In this photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, children watch "tortie," a juvenile green sea turtle, just before the reptile was released off the Florida Keys Friday, July 15, 2022, in Marathon, Fla.  She was found on December 1, 2021, unable to dive and suffering from fibropapillomatosis - a disease-causing tumor that develops from a herpes-like virus affecting sea turtles around the world.  After being treated at Keys-based Turtle Hospital, "Scale" was placed in the Atlantic Ocean and is to be part of the 15th Annual Turtle Tour, an online "race" that is to say, follow a dozen turtles released for three months.  (Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau via AP)

In this photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, children watch “Tortie,” a juvenile green sea turtle, just before the reptile was released off the Florida Keys Friday, July 15, 2022, in Marathon, Fla. On January 1, 2021, unable to dive and suffering from fibropapillomatosis – a tumor-causing disease that develops from a herpes-like virus affecting sea turtles around the world. After being treated at Turtle Hospital in Keys, “Tortie” was placed in the Atlantic Ocean and is to be part of the 15th annual Tour de Turtles, an online “race” that is to follow a dozen released turtles for three months. (Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau via AP)

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” hosted by the Sea Turtle Conservancy that follows 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.

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