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Cayman Islands releases turtle in honor of Queen's Diamond Jubilee

The 60-year-old turtle named Sir Thomas Turtleton weighs 600 pounds and has spent half of his life in a turtle breeding farm.

turtle beachEnlarge
A Cayman Islands turtle named Sir Thomas Turtleton is freed to celebrate Queen Elizabeth's birthday. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The Cayman Islands released a giant turtle into the wild to mark Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee.

The 60-year-old turtle, named Sir Thomas Turtleton, weighs 600 pounds and has spent half of his life in a turtle farm breeding with female turtles.

He was released in North Sound, the largest protected bay on Grand Cayman Island, reported the Associated Press.

After his departure from the beach scientists will track him by satellite using GPS.

Read more on GlobalPost: Giant turtle was as big as a car, reveal fossil findings

“Sir Thomas spent several decades in the wild honing his survival and foraging skills before becoming a breeder at the Cayman Turtle Farm; we have every expectation that those skills remain intact," Chief Research Officer Walter Mustin said to the CayCompass.

"Two decades of CTF tagging studies have demonstrated that even farm raised yearlings, raised on artificial feed and then released to the wild, successfully transition to wild diets, grow, migrate, mature, return to nest, and survive.” 

He is the first old turtle of his size to released into the wild by the Cayman Turtle Farm.

He was released on Saturday at 3 p.m.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/science/120603/cayman-islands-releases-turtle-honor-queens-birthday