HOUMA, La. (WGNO) – An alligator snapping turtle who had been in captivity since being found in the middle of a downtown New Orleans street in 2012 returned to the wild Monday.
The turtle was brought to the Audubon Zoo’s rehabilitation facility in October 2012 after he was found in the middle of Tchoupitoulas Street. He had road rash on his face and to the top of his shell.
After two months the turtle was brought to the Audubon Aquarium, but because of his size Audubon officials decided to release him back into the wild.
With the help of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Audubon Aquarium released the turtle into the Mandalay National Wildlife Refuge in Houma, La.
The alligator snapping turtle population has declined in recent years because of habitat loss and over harvesting, the Audubon Aquarium said.