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Pontiac School To Help Reintroduce Snapping Turtles to Wild

The alligator snapping turtle can grow up to weigh 250 pounds and they haven't been seen in Illinois since 1984, but that’s about to change.
PONTIAC - The alligator snapping turtle can grow up to weigh 250 pounds and they haven't been seen in Illinois since 1984, but that’s about to change.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has decided to give a $5,00,000 grant to put the turtles back into their natural habitat.

Programs at schools like Pontiac Township High School will let students have a hand in the process. Kids will raise the animals while studying them at the same time. After they're big enough the snapping turtles will be released into the wild.

"And to be able to give these guys a head start in coming back and making a difference in not only the turtle's lives, but kids' lives too. So the kids being the foster parents for these turtles really does make a huge impact on these guys," said science teacher Paul Ritter, who will guide students at Pontiac through the process.

Ritter said the turtles could be released as early as May. He said natural instincts will help them survive in the wild.
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