Good Samaritans Save Over 800 Baby Turtles from New Jersey Storm Drains Using a Homemade Tool

May 8, 2021
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New Jersey residents stepped up to save over 800 baby turtle hatchlings.

On Wednesday, Stockton University revealed in a social media post that its vivarium is currently caring for hundreds of diamondback terrapin hatchlings after Good Samaritans pulled the baby reptiles from storm drains in Ocean City.

“In the past few weeks, Stockton University’s Vivarium has welcomed 826 diamondback terrapin hatchlings that hid from the winter temperatures underground in their nest chambers,” the Facebook post from the school read. “These spring emergers that survived for months off of their yolk sacs were scooped out of storm drains in Ocean City, N.J.”

The university also noted that the rescuers found the stuck reptiles because they were already looking for animals in need. According to the school’s post, some of the rescuers regularly look for young turtles crossing the street in spring since the little reptiles can have trouble getting up the curb. Rescuers first spotted the turtles caught in the storm drain because they were on the lookout for creatures that needed help crossing the road.

“They crafted a custom scooper from a telescopic aquarium net attached to a bamboo pole and are pleased with how their invention works,” Stockton University wrote of how the rescuers safely removed the turtles from the drains.

After successfully scooping up all the baby turtles they spotted, the rescuers brought the tiny reptiles to the Stockton Vivarium. The vivarium’s staff plans to rehabilitate the turtles over the next year before releasing them back into the wild, in partnership with The Wetlands Institute. The vivarium is already caring for 1,108 terrapin hatchlings and has now reached full capacity with these 800+ new arrivals.

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