Photos: Endangered turtles released to the wild

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Endangered turtles released to the wild
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Endangered turtles released to the wild
Once on the brink of extinction, the state’s western pond turtle is making a slow recovery thanks to a multi-institutional conservation program. Woodland Park Zoo and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will release more than 80 turtles that were collected from the wild as eggs, hatched and “head started” at Woodland Park Zoo to improve their chance of survival in the wild. Once the turtles reach a suitable size of about 2 ounces, large enough to escape the large mouths of bullfrogs, they are returned to their homes and closely monitored by biologists. The largest of the 10-month-old turtles are equipped with tiny radio transmitters glued to their shells so biologists can learn more about post-release dispersal, habitat use during active and hibernation periods and, ultimately, their survival rate. August 9th 2013. (Joshua Lewis / KOMO News)