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MARATHON (CBSMiami) – 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 off a Florida Keys beach Friday.
“Argus” will join the 10th annual Tour de Turtles, a three-month-long race that will feature public online monitoring of the forward progress of 20 sea turtles.
The project is organized by the Sea Turtle Conservancy and the actual online competition will start Aug. 1 and continue through Oct. 31.
The tracking URL is at www.tourdeturtles.org.
Several hundred Keys residents and visitors broke out in applause after the turtle swam away from Sombrero Beach.
“The importance about this turtle, of Argus, is that it is the only rehabilitated turtle to be in the Tour de Turtles,” said Dan Evans, technology specialist for the Sea Turtle Conservancy. “Argus represents all those rehabilitated turtles in Florida and other places and sort of signifies the importance of being able to see how these turtles are doing once they are released back into the wild.”
Tour de Turtles follows the long-distance migration of several different species of sea turtles. The turtle covering the most distance will be declared the winner.
Competitors have or will be released off Atlantic Ocean coastlines as well as Panama, Costa Rica, Cuba and eastern and Caribbean habitats.
(©2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Florida Keys News Bureau contributed to this report.)