- A total of 826 baby diamondback terrapin turtles were rescued from storm drains in New Jersey in recent weeks.
- Due to their size, baby turtles easily slip into storm drains when they attempt to cross streets.
- The hatchlings are now in the care of Stockton University after local volunteers scooped them up using handmade nets.
New Jersey local residents were able to rescue more than 800 baby turtle hatchlings from storm drains.
A post shared by Stockton University on Facebook revealed that they are caring for about 826 diamondback terrapin hatchlings in their vivarium. Local volunteers pulled the baby turtles from storm drains in Ocean City.
“In the past few weeks, Stockton University’s Vivarium has welcomed 826 diamondback terrapin hatchlings that hid from the winter temperatures underground in their nest chambers,” the university posted on Sunday. “These spring emergers that survived for months off of their yolk sacs were scooped out of storm drains in Ocean City, N.J.”
Stockton University added that the Good Samaritans discovered the turtles stuck in the drains while they were looking for animals in distress. Some of the rescuers look for baby turtles crossing the street in spring on a regular basis, according to the university’s post.
Baby turtles frequently encounter trouble getting up the curb. Rescuers first spotted the turtles caught in the storm drain because they were on the lookout for creatures that needed help crossing the road, PEOPLE reported.
“They crafted a custom scooper from a telescopic aquarium net attached to a bamboo pole and are pleased with how their invention works,” the university wrote.
After rescuing all the baby turtles they found, the volunteers brought them to the Stockton Vivarium where the staff plans to rehabilitate the reptiles. In partnership with The Wetlands Institute, the Stockton Vivarium also plans to release the turtles back into the wild over the next year.
The university’s vivarium is already home to 1,108 terrapin hatchlings and with the addition of 826 new arrivals, it has now reached full capacity.