Last June, the Lincoln Park Zoo unveiled its new Nature
Boardwalk exhibit, an "oasis in the city" with 14 acres of natural
shoreline and dozens of species of fish, birds and reptiles.
On Tuesday, the zoo got some help from local students to release
10 painted turtles into the pond at the zoo's southern end. Five of
the turtles have transmitters attached to their shells, which will
send back data to zoo staff.
The kids, kindergarteners from Beidler Elementary in Garfield
Park, wished the turtles farewell from the landing dock.
"Hopefully these kids are going to remember this and connect
with the animals," says Victoria Hunt, coordinate of wildlife
management for the zoo's Urban Wildlife Institute. With the
tracking devices, she says, "they'll be able to come back and
check up on them and get updates."
Hunt says the South Pond is a great place to watch the fall bird
migration through Chicago this fall. It's also home to a colony of
black-crowned night herons, who landed at the zoo last summer to
mate and have grown in number.
The pond is about a mile from the hustle and bustle of North
Michigan Avenue, which makes it a perfect centerpiece for the zoo's
Urban Wildlife Institute.
"You look up and you can see the Hancock Tower, but then around
you are all these grasses and birds and insects and now turtles,"
says Sharon Dewar, the zoo's director of public relations.
See more of Liz's stories here.
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