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Zoo-hatched turtles released in northern Illinois

Published: Friday, June 20, 2014 9:01 a.m. CST
Caption
(AP)
In this June 18, 2014 photo provided by the Lincoln Park Zoo Lincoln Park Zoo and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials release twenty ornate box turtles into the wild in northern Illinois as part of efforts to restore natural grasslands and prairies. The turtles were released Wednesday in the Upper Mississippi Wildlife and Fish Refuge near Thomson and Savanna, Ill. They hatched from eggs at the zoo where they were raised without the threat of predators. Before their release, they got unique markings and transmitters so they can be tracked by researchers. (AP Photo/Courtesy the Lincoln Park Zoo)
Caption
(AP)
In this June 18, 2014 photo provided by the Lincoln Park Zoo Lincoln Park Zoo and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials release twenty ornate box turtles into the wild in northern Illinois as part of efforts to restore natural grasslands and prairies. The turtles were released Wednesday in the Upper Mississippi Wildlife and Fish Refuge near Thomson and Savanna, Ill. They hatched from eggs at the zoo where they were raised without the threat of predators. Before their release, they got unique markings and transmitters so they can be tracked by researchers. (AP Photo/Courtesy the Lincoln Park Zoo)
Caption
(AP)
In this June 18, 2014 photo provided by the Lincoln Park Zoo, Lincoln Park Zoo and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials release twenty ornate box turtles into the wild in northern Illinois as part of efforts to restore natural grasslands and prairies. The turtles were released Wednesday in the Upper Mississippi Wildlife and Fish Refuge near Thomson and Savanna, Ill. They hatched from eggs at the zoo where they were raised without the threat of predators. Before their release, they got unique markings and transmitters so they can be tracked by researchers. (AP Photo/Courtesy the Lincoln Park Zoo)

CHICAGO – Twenty ornate box turtles have been released into the wild in northern Illinois as part of efforts to restore natural grasslands and prairies.

Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released the turtles Wednesday in the Upper Mississippi Wildlife and Fish Refuge near Thomson and Savanna.

They hatched from eggs at the zoo where they were raised without the threat of predators. Before their release, they got unique markings and transmitters so they can be tracked by researchers.

Lincoln Park Zoo curator Diane Mulkerin says researchers will learn about the turtles' nesting grounds, diet and preferred environment.

The Fish and Wildlife Service wants to populate the area with 100 turtles by 2020.

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Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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