“Little Money” and “Coco” will be fitted with small transmitters and returned to their ocean home on Friday, July 20 at 8:30 a.m. from Sombrero Beach in Marathon. Little Money is a 365-pound adult female green (the second largest turtle ever to be treated at the Turtle Hospital) and Coco is a 215-pound adult male loggerhead. Tour de Turtles uses satellite telemetry and the public is encouraged to follow them online at tourdeturtles.org; also, these are the only rehabilitated animals in the “race.”
Little Money was found by a boater beached on Money Key in late June. It took two Turtle Hospital staff members and three FWC officers on two boats to rescue the animal. Little Money was treated at the Turtle Hospital for gastrointestinal issues. Because Little Money is a mature female, there is a chance she may come back to shore to nest this season!
Coco was rescued nine miles offshore of Marathon in the Florida Bay in late February. Coco was very thin and edematous, covered in barnacles and algae. X-rays at the Turtle Hospital revealed a severe intestinal impaction and pneumonia. It is a rare opportunity to track an adult male sea turtle. Male turtles do not normally return to land after they hatch out as babies.
The public is encouraged to wave farewell as the turtles slip back into the sea.