Over 800 Baby Turtle Rescued from a Storm Drain near New Jersey Shore
While turtles are usually found in the ocean, various volunteers discovered over 800 baby turtles in a storm drain near the New Jersey shore. Over the past few days, volunteers have saved hundreds of baby terrapin turtles from drains across several oceanside communities.
Apparently, these baby turtles fell between the gaps in storm drains as they were trying to cross the streets that lay between the ocean and their nesting chambers further inland.
The tiny turtle babies stayed inside their nestling ground to wait out the colder winter months. With the arrival of warmer weather, the turtles – which were roughly the size of a quarter – began to move toward the ocean.
Rescued from the communities of Ocean City, Ventnor, and Margate, the 816 babies have joined over 200 turtle babies, already being taken care of at Stockton University’s vivarium in Galloway Township.
The babies will be monitored and cared for over the course of the next year, before being released into the ocean.
According to the university, given the optimum growing conditions, the terrapin will be two or three times larger than a similarly aged wild turtle. This will give them a higher chance at long-term survival and hopefully, will help keep populations high of this endangered species.
Currently, the university is tending to 1,108 turtles, which will enjoy a predator-free first year of life while being given nutritious food and regular checkups.
Terrapin turtles are classified as “near threatened” by the IUCN Red List due to their decreasing populations. The species has been facing threats from a multi-million dollar industry for gourmet restaurants.