Staff from The Turtle Hospital and the Sea Turtle Conservancy carry Maisy to a Florida Keys beach. (AP)

Staff from The Turtle Hospital and the Sea Turtle Conservancy carry Maisy to a Florida Keys beach. (AP)

Maisy, a rare hybrid hawksbill-green sea turtle, crawls to the Atlantic Ocean. (AP)

Maisy, a rare hybrid hawksbill-green sea turtle, crawls to the Atlantic Ocean. (AP)

Maisy has a satellite tracking transmitter on her shell, which will keep track of how far she swims, for the “Tour de Turtles.” (AP)

Maisy has a satellite tracking transmitter on her shell, which will keep track of how far she swims, for the “Tour de Turtles.” (AP)

The public can track the turtles online. The one that swims the farthest is declared the winner. (AP)

The public can track the turtles online. The one that swims the farthest is declared the winner. (AP)

Follow That Turtle!

Posted: September 1, 2020

Splish-Splash! All eyes are on the turtle with a tracker. Maisy is back in the ocean. People can’t wait to see where she’s headed next.

Maisy is a rare sea turtle. She is considered rare because she’s a hybrid turtle. She is part green sea turtle and part hawksbill sea turtle.

People found Maisy on July 4, 2019. She was on an island in the lower Florida Keys. Her rescuers took her to The Turtle Hospital. It’s a non-profit organization that rescues and rehabilitates endangered sea turtles. At the hospital, doctors noticed that Maisy was sick. She had fibropapillomatosis. That’s a big word. It’s also a serious virus that affects sea turtles. Maisy needed months of good care. On March 6, 2020, the hospital shared great news. Maisy was healthy again!

It was time for the hybrid turtle to head home to the ocean. But first, biologists fitted Maisy with a satellite-tracking transmitter. She’ll be participating in the Tour de Turtles. That’s a long, slow race––for sea turtles! Maisy’s tracker will help researchers see where she is in the ocean, how she got there, and how fast she is swimming. Even though she doesn’t know it, she’ll “compete” for speed and distance with other sea turtles that are released back into the ocean.

“Maisy’s the first hybrid sea turtle we’ve ever tracked,” says Dan Evans, a senior research biologist with the Sea Turtle Conservancy. “So for her, it’s going to be really interesting to see if she goes into habitat that is used by hawksbills or habitat that is used by green turtles.”

God gave sea turtles the ability to navigate deep ocean waters. He made them “according to their kinds.” (Genesis 1:25) Those kinds include hawksbills and green sea turtles. It will be fun to see how far Maisy swims and where she goes during the Tour de Turtles. You can check out her live tracker here.