Inmates join Oregon Zoo to help release endangered turtles back - KPTV - FOX 12

Inmates join Oregon Zoo to help release endangered turtles back into the wild

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(Courtesy: Oregon Zoo) (Courtesy: Oregon Zoo)

The Oregon Zoo had some extra help as they released more than 20 western pond turtles into the Columbia River Gorge.

Inmates from Larch, a minimum-security prison in Vancouver, helped the Oregon Zoo return 23 turtles back to their home on Wednesday.

This is part of the Western Pond Turtle Recovery Project which has been going on for 25 years.

Fourteen of the turtles were reared at the Zoo. The other nine were in the care of the zoo and were deemed fit to return to the Gorge.

For the first time, caregivers from Larch were able to participate in the release as part of the Sustainability in Prisons Project.

"Sustainability in Prisons brings together people who haven't felt included in the conservation movement before," said Joslyn Trivett, the project's national network manager. "It makes conservation the business of a wider group."

To learn more about the Western Pond Turtle Recovery Project, visit

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