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baby turtle in palm of hand

Tots and Turtles

Friday, July 19, 2019

Several youngsters were delighted to help Oklahoma State University’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences release seven tiny turtles at Sanborn Lake in Stillwater. The center treats about 500 wildlife cases every year. A few months ago, a Good Samaritan brought in an injured turtle. Turtles are often found crossing the road in the early summer as they look for a place to lay their eggs. While her injuries were too severe for her to be saved, the Avian, Exotics and Zoo Medicine team did save her babies!

“We incubated the turtle’s eggs and watched the embryos grow,” explained Ian Kanda, RVT, VTS (Exotic Companion Animal). “After two months of incubation seven eggs hatched.  We cared for the hatchling turtles long enough to ensure they are healthy, and now they are ready to be released back to their natural habitat.”

The children belong to Oklahoma State University Foundation employees. This next generation of animal lovers were excited to help release the next generation of turtles.

According to Kanda, hatchling turtles have everything they need to survive in the wild. They will hide in aquatic vegetation while small to avoid predators, and become bolder as they get larger.  Turtles are an important part to a pond’s ecosystem.

If you would like to support Oklahoma’s wildlife, please contact Ashley Hesser, the center’s assistant director of development at the OSU Foundation, at 405-385-0715 or

MEDIA CONTACT: Taylor Bacon | Public Relations and Marketing Coordinator | 405-744-6728 | 

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