Sea turtle released in Florida to compete in Tour de Turtles

Category: Science/Environment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. transmitter / trænsˈmɪt ər / (n.) – a device that sends out messages or signals

    The radio station is able to broadcast music through transmitters.

  2. conservancy / kənˈsɜr vən si / (n.) – an organization working to preserve and protect animals, plants, and the environment

    A lot of rescued animals are being taken to the city’s conservancy.

  3. contingent / kənˈtɪn dʒənt / (n.) – a group of people who do something together or share a similar quality with one another

    A contingent of angry workers protested in front of the city hall.

  4. tracking / ˈtræk ɪŋ / (n.) – the act or process of following something or someone

    Each player will wear a device for the real-time tracking of their locations.

  5. reach / ritʃ / (n.) – the scope of influence, effect, or application of something

    I’m surprised by the reach of the local organization. It’s now known all over the globe.


Read the text below.

A juvenile green sea turtle that underwent multiple surgeries to remove cauliflower-like tumors was released off the Florida Keys with a satellite-tracking transmitter.

“Tortie” was treated at the Keys-based Turtle Hospital after being rescued last December. The turtle was unable to dive and suffering 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 mixed seafood and greens.

The turtle’s satellite tracker will be monitored as part of the 15th annual Tour de Turtles, an online “race” organized 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 Tour de Turtles, we’re also learning about where these turtles are going and then can look and see if there are any threats that the turtles face in these areas,” said Dan Evans, senior research biologist with the conservancy.

Tortie, who was released July 15, is competing in the hard-shell turtles’ division that features about a dozen contestants, with tracking beginning on Aug. 1.

“One sea turtle can make a difference, not only going back to the ocean and having baby sea turtles, but the bigger reach is helping people to care about sea turtles and our oceans,” said Bette Zirkelbach, the hospital’s general manager.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • After being rescued, Tortie underwent multiple surgeries to remove its cauliflower-like tumors in a hospital. If given the chance, would you also like to be a veterinarian or someone who helps save animals? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • If you could start any program for the preservation of a certain species, what kind of animal would you like to help? Why? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • The Tour de Turtles is a race that tracks how far turtles can go as they migrate to different parts of the ocean. Do you think an event like this is effective in making people care about turtles and the ocean? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Do you think it’s a good idea to track animals in their natural habitat? Why or why not? Discuss.