The Western Pond turtle was once found in abundance in the state of Washington but 30 years ago as the species numbers receded biologists thought it to be extinct. It was therefore, a surprising find when a turtle roaming along the roadsides of Edmond was recognized as none other than the rare turtle species.
The turtle that was found on the side of the road near Edmonds was handed over to the Woodland Park Zoo Animal Hospital. Here the veterinarians gave it a thorough physical examination including an x-ray and weight check.
The woodland zoo along with other zoos has been trying to breed the western pond turtle in captivity for some time. The captive breeding program has been initiated to help increase the turtle population from a few hundreds to thousands.
With this particular turtle that was found by accident, biologists found that it is not part of the breeding program. The animal therefore brings a fresh genetic strain to the population and also increases hope that some of these species might still be present in the wild.
The western pond turtle is in the Washington states endangered species list and once the turtle’s physical examination are complete, it will be released into a pond to further increase the population of the endangered species.