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Local News

New turtle ambassador moves into Romeoville museum

Isle a la Cache Museum needs help naming its newest member

The new turtle stands in its tank at Isle a la Cache Museum in Romeoville.
The new turtle stands in its tank at Isle a la Cache Museum in Romeoville.

A new 7-year-old female Blanding's turtle at Isle a la Cache Museum in Romeoville remains without a name.

But the turtle won't be nameless for long. The Forest Preserve District of Will County is asking for residents' help in naming the new turtle, according to a news release.

The five name options include Marigold, Mshike', Shelly, Taco or Terra.

Residents can vote to share their favorite name at Facebook.com/WillCoForests or Twitter.com/WillCoForests. Individuals can comment on the turtle-naming post with their name of choice.

Voting began May 22 and ends at noon May 30. The forest preserve will announce the winning name the following week.

The new turtle is replacing previous resident turtle, Buddy, who will return to a breeding program that works to increase the number of the state's endangered species.

"It's really a two-pronged approach," said Cindy Cain, public information officer for the Forest Preserve District of Will County. "This turtle is going to be the educational component, and the other part is behind-the-scenes, where we're raising the hatchlings for release in the wild."

While the new turtle can be viewed for free at a tank in Isle a la Cache museum, 49 other baby Blanding's turtles are being raised at an undisclosed location. They will be released into the wild in DuPage County this fall.

Since the new female turtle has a genetic mutation that prevents her from returning to the wild, the release said she is a better fit as the museum's turtle ambassador.

"If you saw [the new turtle] next to a regular Blanding's turtle, it is lighter in color," Cain said. "It's kind of an aberration."

The new turtle will help the museum educate residents on the regional effort to save turtles from extinction, the release said.

To find out more, visit ReconnectWithNature.org.

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