CHICAGO (CBS) — A small group of students from Whitney Young Magnet High School will be going on a trip this week to help put an endangered animal out into the wild.

On Friday, the students will be in southern Illinois as Illinois Department of Natural Resources crews release about 100 endangered alligator snapping turtles into different water basins.

Biology teacher Todd Katz says Whitney Young students raised one of those turtles from a hatchling for the last year.

“It’s one of the ugliest looking things you’ve ever seen, and these guys said, ‘You know what? This is so ugly, nobody could love it. We should take care of it,’” he said.

Katz describes the alligator snapping turtle as docile, although potentially dangerous.

“When I have them in the classroom, I don’t have a concern about them being very ferocious,” he said.

This is the fourth year Katz’s students have taken care of an alligator snapping turtle until it was ready to be released. Before the effort by students and others to re-build the populations of the turtle, the last ones had been seen in the wild downstate in 1984, according to Katz.