VENICE - An adult, male loggerhead sea turtle was released Monday back into the Gulf of Mexico at Caspersen Beach in Venice.
Nicknamed "JT," dozens of beachgoers applauded as he pushed through the sand and into the surf.
But you can keep track of him. Mote Marine placed a satellite tag on his shell.
Loggerhead males are rarely seen on land once they take to the ocean as hatchlings.
JT was found entangled and distressed in a crab trap more than two months ago.
A line from the trap was embedded in the turtle's neck and wrapped around its front flippers.
Mote's team brought the turtle to Mote's Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital, with assistance from Sarasota Police Department.
The loggerhead quickly began eating and was put on an antibiotic for his wounds. JT gained 66 pounds over his recovery period. He weighed 315 pounds when released.
The loggerhead was outfitted with a satellite tag by Mote's Sea Turtle Conservation & Research Program, for tracking purposes.
JT was a good candidate for a satellite tag due to his size. He is at least 30 years old, Mote scientists said, and can grow as old as 80 years.
They hope to learn more about the behavior of males, their habitat, home range and migratory pathways in the Gulf of Mexico.
Male sea turtles do not return to land after they leave the beach as hatchlings, unless they are injured or sick, making their study elusive.
If you see a distressed or deceased sea turtle, manatee, dolphin or whale in Sarasota or Manatee counties, report it to Mote’s Stranding Program hotline at 941-988-0212, or the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Wildlife hotline at 888-404-3922.
You can follow JT's track at www.mote.org/seaturtletracking.