Six Northern Red-Bellied Cooters headstarted at the National Marine Life Center over the winter have been released into the wild in Middleboro on June 1st, 2009. They joined 132 other red bellies that had been carefully fed and cared for to restore this endangered population of aquatic turtles in Massachusetts.
The Boston Globe covered the release in its story, “Rare baby turtles released near Middleborough ponds,” and Enterprise reported the event in its “Video Extra: 138 endangered turtles released in Middleboro.” The Enterprise video clip is posted below.
Enterprise Video Clip of Red-Bellied Release
As we reported earlier (see New Batch of Northern Red-Bellied Cooters Arrives), the Commonwealth gave six additional red bellies to the National Marine Life Center last Friday. These turtles, which had been headstarted by another source, had not grown sufficiently for early June release. They are currently under care of the NMLC animal health and science team with an expectation that they will be released later this summer.