After having their home cleaned, the turtles are back from their summer vacation

Claire Ricke

Turtles were returned to the turtle pond Monday after being moved to Brackenridge Field Lab while their home was cleaned.

Integrative biology professor David Hillis, assistant curator Travis Laduc, and student volunteers retrieved the turtles from their trip at the field lab on Lake Austin Boulevard. Marc Airhart, College of Natural Sciences spokesman, said only 40 of the turtles arrived back at the pond Monday. 

“The rest will stay at their new home at the Brackenridge Field Lab,” Airhart said.

On June 9, volunteers from the College of Natural Sciences and the Texas Natural History Collections captured and transported the turtles. The sizes of the turtles ranged from the size of silver dollar to a foot in length.

While the turtles were gone, the University’s cleaning crew drained and cleaned the lower of the three ponds, removing debris that had accumulated at the bottom over the past decade. Cleaning the pond’s water pumps, the crew eradicated built up algae and mud. Rocks and logs were then arranged to provide more areas for the turtles to soak up the summer sun.