New Brunswick

Atlantic Wildlife Institute returns wood turtle to habitat

A wood turtle has been released back into the wild after spending several weeks at the Atlantic Wildlife Institute.

Biologists and zoologists were consulted on where to place the wood turtle after it was discovered in Moncton

This wood turtle spent several weeks at the Atlantic Wildlife Institute before being returned to the wild. (Submitted by the Atlantic Wildlife Institute)

A wood turtle has been released back into the wild after spending several weeks at the Atlantic Wildlife Institute.

The wood turtle, which is listed as a threatened species, was discovered in a downtown Moncton yard.

Pam Novak, the Cookville-based institute's executive director, said the turtle wasn't injured but there were concerns it had been kept as a pet.

Novak said there was a concern that it could have picked up harmful bacteria.

Once the turtle was determined to be healthy, the next task was to find a place to return it.

The wildlife institute consulted with a species-at-risk biologist, a regional biologist from the Department of Natural Resources and the New Brunswick Museum's zoology department.

"Not knowing where he came from, we had to go with the best guess of where we felt would be a good location that hopefully where maybe he came from," she said.

"So a suitable habitat where wood turtles are found is where he is put. We don't usually let the public know where these spots are because of the fact that habitats are extremely vulnerable.

Novak said anyone who finds a turtle should leave it alone.

The turtles are extremely territorial and if they are removed from their habitat they will spend the rest of their lives trying to get back, she said.

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