A slow-moving Southern Tier resident facing a rapid decline in population is getting some help from the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine.

Cornell Veterinary Center Lindsey Hadlock photo
Cornell Veterinary Center Lindsey Hadlock photo

According to University officials, the Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Hospital at Cornell rescued around 150 eggs between May and July from over a dozen pregnant turtles that had been hit by cars in New York State and were too injured to lay their eggs on their own and survive.

The rescued eggs were incubated at the hospital in Ithaca and the hatchlings are released to help boost the numbers of turtles in the wild.

The eggs were kept at 70-75 degrees in vermiculite for the 90 day incubation period.  About 70 of those 150 eggs hatched at the hospital while certified wildlife rehabilitators were able to bring the other babies out of their shells.

Most of the teeny snapping and red painted turtles were released in September while a few will be nurtured through the winter by volunteers. Those turtles that have had the extra boost of care over the winter will be released in June.

Officials at the Wildlife Hospital urge drivers to keep a sharp eye out for turtles on the road, especially in the spring and summer.