The Plight of Leatherback Turtles Isn’t Funny, But Stephen Colbert Is

Billie won the Great Turtle Race.

For those of you who didn’t follow the event: It’s a two-week race among 11 leatherback turtles traveling 600 miles from their nesting grounds in Costa Rica to their feeding grounds in the Galapagos. The race is meant to call attention to the plight of the turtles, whose population in the Pacific Ocean has decreased by 90 percent since the 1980s, thanks, in large part, to humans.

Now we know that the turtles’ troubles are nothing to laugh at, but Stephen Colbert’s coverage of the leatherback he sponsored, Stephanie Colburtle, had us chuckling.  For a while it looked like Stephanie might win, but Billie pulled ahead at the end to take first place. Colbert’s explanation? Find out for yourself.


Correction: Colbert didn't sponsor the turtle. The students working on the race sponsored her and named her after Colbert.