The next group of turtles will be released into the lake on Monday at 2:30 p.m.
In early June, Kim Hansen of Fairfax was alarmed to see what looked to her like a gigantic prehistoric creature tearing up her newly planted flower garden. After numerous calls to the zoo, animal control, and others, she spoke to Suzanne Holland, assistant manager at Hidden Oaks Nature Center.
Holland and Friends of Hidden Oaks Vice President Kevin Holland arrived to find “Mabel,” as the turtle was named by Hansen, gently laying dozens of small ping-pong ball-like eggs in a freshly dug hole.
|The eggs are starting to hatch.|
Hidden Oaks Nature Center for incubation.
Unlike bird eggs, turtle eggs must maintain the same orientation from where they were laid to survive. Holland marked the top of each egg to assure proper placement in a reptile egg incubator. The first hatchlings emerged Aug. 1, to the delight visitors and staff, who videotaped the event. The hatchlings couldn’t be released right away; they must be at least a week old.