23 November 2009

"Where Suzie at Now?!"

When Suzie the sea turtle started her journey out of the TCI, people in town were abuzz. They'd often call out, excitedly, to the researchers "where Suzie at now?!" Supposedly there were even some fears that Suzie was being controlled through the GPS tag on her back and being sent away to waters where turtle fishing is illegal. The interest in Suzie has subsided a little, but people on the island keep up-to-date on her whereabouts through bulletins posted at various shops and public buildings. She's gone quite a distance. For a while, she was headed in the direction of South America, and they thought she might go to Venezuela to nest.

But now she's taken a more easterly heading and is almost smack in the middle of the Caribbean. One of the researchers was worried she might now go to Nicaragua, where they "put away" 10,000 turtles every year. Hopefully, though, if she is spotted by a hunter, they'll have the courtesy to let her be because of her tag.

There other four GPS tagged turtles in TCI (Tom, Jerry, Deep, and Jewel) have remained local. I'm hoping Suzie will return, especially if she comes nearby, because we ought to be able to use GPS to find her.

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