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GITI Tire-sponsored turtle takes home the bronze

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GITI Tire-sponsored turtle, Champiro, turned out to be a real champion, taking third place in The Great Turtle Race.

The "race" started on April 16 and followed leatherback sea turtles from their nesting grounds on Playa Grande beach in Costa Rica to the Galapagos Islands.

Champiro was just one mile and a few short hours behind the second place winner. The first place turtle finished the journey the day before.

Turtles were sponsored by GITI Tire and 10 other companies. The race was organized to bring attention to the endangered species' plight. Although they are the largest turtles in the world, growing to lengths of up to six-and-a-half feet and weights up to 2,000 pounds, their numbers are dwindling due to animal and human pressures and habitat loss.

In addition to the sponsorships, during the race, people donated money in their favorite turtle's name.

Race promoters are the conservation groups The Leatherback Trust, Tagging of Pacific Predators, Conservation International and Costa Rica's Ministry of Environment and Energy.

For race results, log onto www.greatturtlerace.com.

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