Summer's just heating up in Portland, but for 23 western pond turtles reared at the Oregon Zoo, a nine-month stretch of warm days and nights is drawing to an end. Since last October, the turtles basked in the warmth and light of a simulated summer in the zoo's conservation lab, growing large enough to have a fighting chance in the wild. Today, with the help of conservation partners and local wildlife agencies, the zoo returned these endangered reptiles to the wild at the Columbia River Gorge. As part of the Western Pond Turtle Recovery Project, conservation scientists "head-start" newly hatched turtles gathered from wild sites, nurturing them at the zoo for up to a year. In addition to the 20 wild hatchlings brought to the lab last fall, this year's release includes three turtles that hatched at the zoo.
Learn more: https://www.oregonzoo.org/news/2020/07/zoo-partners-return-endangered-turtles-wild Source