One Tuesday the staff and volunteers of the NMLC gathered for a joyous event! The release of Eleanor the Diamondback Terrapin. Eleanor came to the NMLC at the beginning of August after being kept as a pet for about a year. Diamondback Terrapins are a protected species in Massachusetts and cannot be held as pets. Her “owners” found her as a hatchling with a small foot injury and didn’t think she could make it in the wild. Once finding out Diamondback Terrapins are protected they handed the turtle to the NMLC. Luckily they had taken good care of the turtle and she was healthy.
Eleanor has spent the last few month at the NMLC preparing for a life back in the wild. She was weaned off the commercial turtle food she had been consuming and introduced to natural diet items, and slowly acclimated to increased salinity. She was deemed ready for release last week by our veterinarian and on Tuesday she was returned to her original home in Wareham, MA.
An entourage of about 15 people came to send Eleanor off. She was released into an estuarine habitat very close to where she was originally found just over a year ago. Eleanor was anxious to explore her new environment checking out her surroundings as she quickly left us behind. Eleanor’s story had a happy ending, but she is a great reminder that wild animals should be left in the wild. If you find an animal you believe to be injured be sure to contact your local wildlife rehabilitation facility where the staff and volunteers are trained to properly care for wild animals. To read more about Eleanor’s stay at the NMLC please read our previous blog posts Introducing Eleanor and Preparing Eleanor for Release, and for additional pictures and video of the release please visit our Facebook page.