Read the full story in the Chicago Tribune.
On a sunny afternoon in northwest DuPage County, a small turtle with a smile plastered on its face slid off a log into a marsh and began its first day of life in the wild.
The yearling was among a group of endangered Blanding’s turtles released into the wetlands of a forest preserve, where each dark splash into the lime green water marked, for some turtles, a jump more than a decade in the making.
The DuPage Forest Preserve District’s head-start program has helped raise and release young Blanding’s turtles for years. But Wednesday’s journey into the marsh featured the first cohort in the program’s 25 years that included captive-bred turtles from Brookfield Zoo.