July 29th was an exciting morning at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort. Crowds gathered to cheer on this year’s participants in the annual Tour de Turtles event. Two loggerhead turtles named Cruz Ramirez and Sally Carrera, named for characters in Pixar’s Cars 3 movie, nested on the beach and then were tagged by conservation specialists. Satellite transmitters were attached to their shells before they swam off to into the big blue.
This is the 10th annual Tour de Turtles hosted by the Sea Turtle Conservancy. Twenty different turtles, representing 4 different species, will be tracked by scientists in order to discover more about their habits and migratory patterns. The end goal is to learn more in order to help them survive.
All of the Tour de Turtles participants travel hundreds of miles from their nesting beach all the way to their feeding locations. The fun part of this event is that the turtle that travels the farthest in the 3-month period is declared the winner! Each turtle represents a sponsor and an individual conservation cause.
The Disney Conservation Fund is sponsoring Cruz. This group has raised more than $2.6 million to help raise awareness of the damage debris in the ocean is causing to marine life. Sea turtles often become tangled in fishing line and plastic bags causing immobility. They also mistake plastic for food which can be extremely dangerous for them.
Sally is swimming for her sponsor Disney’s Animal, Science and Environment. She is helping raise awareness about light pollution. Did you know that baby sea turtles use starlight to guide their way back to the ocean after they hatch? Too many of them are guided off course by artificial light sources. Sally’s goal is to communicate the importance of turning off your lights on the beach at night during sea turtle season.
Captain Ron and Dory, two conservation canines, were on hand at the event to meet guests before the event started. They help conservation teams sniff out and identify sea turtle nests. Once they are identified the nests can be better protected from outside threats.
Guests at the event also participated in fun sea turtle conservation themed activities. They were entertaining and also educational, teaching guests about the challenges turtles face.
Interested in learning more? You can actually track Cruz and Sally on their adventure from your computer at TourdeTurtles.org. You can learn more about sea turtles and other animals at DisneyAnimals.com
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Source Credit : Disney Parks Blog
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