‘Betsy’ the sea turtle released into the Gulf of Mexico

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TEN THOUSAND ISLANDS, Fla.- A loggerhead sea turtle was released into the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday by the Conservancy of Southwest Florida.

“Having the opportunity to say goodbye to Betsy the turtle while thinking of Betsy our volunteer and my friend is just a heartwarming experience,” said Eve Haverfield, founder of Turtle Time, Inc.

Betsy the turtle was named after Betsy Sandstrom, a longtime volunteer at Turtle Time who lost her fight to cancer two years ago.

“It’s her legacy,” said Martha Gill, Sandstrom’s sister. “This turtle will return, lay eggs, her offspring will come back and lay eggs and it’s a continuing life circle. So it’s huge, she worked hard and volunteered a lot of hours to make sure this kind of thing can happen.”

In order for Betsy to be released, she had to be 45 centimeters long. Her final measurements were taken on land minutes before she was taken out to the Gulf to be released.

“I hope she survives and thrives,” Gill said.

Betsy had been at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida since March 2014 to prepare for her release. She was tagged before being let go into the Gulf so her movements can be tracked.

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