Sunday, May 2, 2021 9:02 AM EST
By The Associated Press, AP
BROOKFIELD, Ill. — Nearly two dozen young endangered turtles have been released into the wild at a suburban Chicago nature preserve. Twenty-two Blanding’s turtles were released Wednesday at the Forest Preserves of DuPage County as part of a decades-long effort to rebuild populations of the semi-aquatic turtles in Illinois. Dan Thompson is a wildlife ecologist at the forest preserves. He tells WLS-TV that 10 of the young turtles barely larger than an average person’s thumb were bred and raised in captivity by zookeepers at the Brookfield Zoo. Blanding's turtles were once common throughout the Midwest, but they are now endangered in Illinois.