CHICAGO (CBS) — A group of 18 turtles was burrowing its way to a new future, after getting a head start at Lincoln Park Zoo.
WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports the year-old turtles were hatched from eggs provided by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, from the Upper Mississippi National Wildlife and Fish Refuge near Savanna.
They were released Friday morning at the Ayers Sand Prairie State Nature Preserve near Savanna, along the Iowa border. Zoo curator Diane Mulkerin said the nest of 18 ornate box turtles pretty much ate all winter long, so have grown much faster than they would in the wild.
“If they were hatched out in the wild, this year they would still not be much bigger than a quarter, but the fact that we raised them here, and they didn’t hibernate, and we fed them for a full year, they’re probably now about the size of a three- to four-year old box turtle,” she said.