Posted: Jul 2, 2014 12:21 PM by Russell Jones
Updated: Jul 2, 2014 12:34 PM
HOUMA - Wildlife officials and Audubon Aquarium workers released a rehabilitated alligator snapping turtle recently into the Mandalay National Wildlife Refuge in Houma.
The turtle was brought to the Audubon Zoo in October 2012 after it was found in the middle of a busy New Orleans street. Officials believed the turtle fell from the back of a moving truck, injuring its face and shell.
After the turtle fully recovered at the aquarium, veterinarians and animal staff decided it was time to release him back into the wild.
"Releasing this animal is an important part of Audubon Nature Institute's overall mission to preserve the wildlife found in our local habitats," said Audubon Curator of Aquatics, Kristine Grzenda. "Alligator snapping turtle populations are in decline due to habitat loss and over-harvesting for their meat."
Audubon staff teamed with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary to find a secluded area in Mandalay National Wildlife Refuge where the turtle was released.
Video - Audubon Aquarium