The Oregon Zoo is now home to 11 adorably tiny northwestern pond turtles. It’s part of ongoing conservation efforts and I want to tell you all about it.
Why They’re at the Zoo
In short: they’re endangered and their size makes them vulnerable to predators like the much larger American bullfrog. The zoo’s conservation and other local partners launched the Western Pond Turtle Recovery Project to care for the reptiles until they grow large enough to fend for themselves in the wild.
But they’re worth a million dollars in my heart. These little creatures start small, but they can grow to about 6-8 inches in adulthood.
Rest and Recover
Only two northwestern pond turtles were left in Washington in 1990 when the state began dedicated recovery efforts. Since then, 1,800 turtles have been “head-started” and released back into the wild throughout the Pacific Northwest.