They’re lean, they’re mean and they’re green. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Not exactly, but hundreds of diamondback terrapin hatchlings have been rescued from subterranean storm drains along the Jersey Shore.
According to a Stockton University Facebook post, the turtles were hiding from the cold temperatures over the winter and surviving off yolk sacks.
“As we passed the storm drains, we noticed that there was activity in them. When we looked closer, we saw that there were baby terrapins swimming in the storm drains,” said Marlene Galdi, who, along with friend Joanne Freas, discovered some of the terrapins in Ocean City.
Stockton alumna Evelyn Kidd found and rescued many of the others in Margate and Ventnor City.
Volunteers who rescued 826 of the animals turned them over to Stockton University’s “Head Start” program, where staff will care for and rehabilitate the creatures for about a year before placing them back in the wild, NJ Advance Media reported.
There are 1,108 terrapins receiving care from the program, which has reached capacity.
Anyone who finds a hatchling is advised to place the animal in room-temperature water up to the shell, with a rock it can climb on, according to Stockton University. Healthy turtles can be released at dusk into a tidal creek or bay area.