Baby Cooter Season!

Posted: Sep. 29, 2013

 red-bellied cooter

The 24 adorable garter snake babies are no longer the only tiny new additions to the South Shore Natural Science Center critter family. Let’s welcome our five new Northern Red-Bellied Cooters! These cute little turtles are actually state and federally recognized as an Endangered Species, and have been since 1980.

Luckily, these little guys are part of the Head Start Program, which was started in 1984. Hatchlings are removed from the wild in early fall and placed with educational and scientific facilities. The first year of the turtles’ lives are spent in a safe, aquatic environment with an unlimited amount of Romaine and Green Leaf lettuce… YUM! This enables the turtles to grow very fast, and they will be 4-5 inches long by the time they are released back into the wild. That’s a lot of growing, especially since they’re only about the size of a half dollar coin right now. It would take them 4 to 5 years to reach that size in the wild.

Stop by the EcoZone to see these turtles’ “head start” towards a long, healthy, and reproductive life!