In an emotional meeting at the Conservancy Nature Center, Friday, April 18 long-time sea turtle advocate and volunteer Betsy Sandstrom met her new namesake. Sandstrom, who is terminally ill, was surrounded by more than 120 friends and family members as Conservancy President and CEO Rob Moher announced that with more than 70 percent of the vote, BETSY is the name of the Conservancy’s new baby loggerhead sea turtle.
Diagnosed with terminal cancer, Betsy Sandstrom is well-known by her friends and colleagues as a passionate supporter and defender of the threatened species as well as a long-time volunteer with the Bonita Springs/Fort Myers Beach organization Turtle Time.Since becoming ill and after losing her hair, Betsy decided to further demonstrate her passion for protecting sea turtles by placing temporary tattoos on her head for every turtle nest found last season.
Back at the Conservancy’s Nature Center, BETSY the loggerhead serves as an educational ambassador for the species. Betsy will be released into the wild when she reaches the size by which she can survive on her own and hopefully one day return to create nests of her own. For information about the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, call 239-262-0304 or visit www.conservancy.org.