This post is by our rockin’ new contributor, Megan Hilfer. If you’re interested in writing for Ecorazzi, drop us a line!
No doubt youâ€™ve heard of the Amazing Race, and maybe you have a soft spot in your heart for good â€˜ole Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo â€“ Cowabunga! â€“ but chances are you havenâ€™t seen anything like this before. This is The Great Turtle Race.
Organized by Conservation International and friends, satellite trackers have been strapped to the backs of 11 female leatherback sea turtles on their two-week 1,200 mile journey from Costa Rica to the Galapagos Islands â€“ thatâ€™s something like eight English Channels for all you long-distance swimmers out there. The mission of The Great Turtle Race is to raise awareness of a species threatened with extinction: the breed has dwindled due to illegal egg poaching, ocean contamination, and beach front development near their key nesting grounds.
Better yet are the trading cards for the 11 lovely ladies. Select environmental groups and businesses, like Yahoo!, Dreyerâ€™s Ice Cream, and Travelocity, are sponsoring the turtles, who are featured as caricatures with sponsor-laden accessories on the front of their trading cards. My favorite? That would be Sundae, with her super-size sundae featuring Dreyerâ€™s Slow Churned ice cream. Sadly, this is a very fitting partnership, as Sundae is a little slowâ€¦ Then there is Yahoo!â€™s Purple Lightning. Her trading card bio reads a little sassy:
This leatherback started the race on Valentineâ€™s Day. With scars on her right rear flipper, notches on her left flipper, and mating scratches on her carapace, itâ€™s clear sheâ€™s both a lover and a fighter.
Quite the cheeky turtle! The best by far, and currently toward the front of the pack, is Stephanie Colbertle, in honor of Stephen Colbert. The proud papa insists she isnâ€™t fat, just big-shelled.