PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — About 70 western pond turtles raised at the Oregon Zoo are being prepared Monday for release into the wild in the Columbia River Gorge.
The endangered turtles have been raised at the zoo as part of a conservation program with the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle and state and federal wildlife agencies.
A program scientist, David Shepherdson, says they spent the past 11 months in warmth and light so they wouldn't go into hibernation. That allowed them have about three years growth in less than a year.
The turtles weigh a little more than 2 ounces. Officials hope that's large enough to avoid being eaten by bullfrogs and big-mouth bass.