Turtle #11, AKA “Larry” still on the move.
Casper, Wyoming, April 1st ,2020 2:44 PM MST
Earlier this morning 11 Galapagos turtles broke into and consumed a case of Red Bull energy drink at a nature preserve off the coast of Ecuador. Caretakers feared they had lost the threatened specimens, but remembered Geoforce, a company that tracks industrial field equipment and vehicles, had humanely affixed a GT1 Global Asset Tracker to the shell of each animal. This is the third in a series of breaking reports to keep readers informed on what Geoforce and local media can determine.
Nevada officials had warned Wyoming Fish and Game officers that illegal fauna may be crossing into Wyoming. Accordingly, Wyoming officers staked out low lying areas and wetlands near likely border crossings. But according to Geoforce Track and Trace readings, Turtle #11, aka “Larry”, was already well up Wyoming Devil’s Tower, a 5,112 foot butte near the Black Hills.
Sgt. Christian Chacko figured he had drawn the short straw when told he must investigate Devil’s Tower for invasive species. But the detailed Track and Trace information supplied by Geoforce gave him pause. “Normally I believe satellite information without reservation, but how could a turtle from another state have gotten this deep into Wyoming so quickly?
“The GT1 cannot lie. It just sends the information it receives from the GPS satellites in orbit,” said Jaime MacLaren III, CEO of Geoforce. “If Track and Trace receives and displays the GT1’s data, then that location, however improbable, is where the GT1 is, if not the asset, also.”
Those words proved prophetic. Using the Geoforce tracking data, Officer Chacko followed “large blunt reptilian footprints” 1,000 feet up the butte to find twin sisters and novice rock climbers Caitlin and Antonella Trakadopolous, who were stranded during an unaided 5.12-rated climb.
Dehydrated and near shock, the Trakadopolouses had been stuck on Devil’s Tower for four hours without water or wireless coverage. They credit Turtle #11 with bringing their rescuer. Upon seeing Officer Chacko, Caitlin Trakadopolous said, “The turtle? Yeah, you just missed him. GREAT technique. Can you help us down?”