Non-native Turtle Numbers Up Again in AZ

Turtles from Phoenix Zoo pondThe Phoenix Zoo has been trying to get rid of the non-native turtles in the pond in the park near its entrance since 1999. The number of turtle species not native to Arizona found in the pond had declined over the last 13 years, but this year there was an increase. 142 non-native turtles were trapped, including 139 pond sliders, one spiny softshell, one painted turtle, and one eastern redbelly turtle.

Biologists believe that the turtles are released pets, saying that the turtles show signs of captivity.

The non-native female turtles that are trapped are brought to a turtle sanctuary for adoption, while the males are released back into the pond.

Read a brief story at CBS5 TV, here.
Read a more detailed release from the Arizona Fish and Game Department, here. (Second story from the bottom.)

Photo courtesy Arizona Fish and Game Department

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