More than 800 tiny turtles scooped to safety and rehab at Stockton
OCEAN CITY — More than 800 tiny, turtle hatchlings are being cared for at Stockton University's Vivarium, after being rescued from storm drains by several residents.
The baby diamondback terrapins hatched during the winter months and then stayed hunkered down in underground nest areas until spring, before venturing out.
Above-ground they can easily face trouble, either in man-made sidewalk curbs or, in this case, slipping between the grates of street-level storm drains.
Marlene Galdi and Joanne Freas were able to help the hatchlings in Ocean City, while Evelyn Kidd and others gave the assist in Ventnor and Margate, according to Stockton University.
Galdi and Freas attached a telescopic aquarium net to a bamboo pole to extend it as a "custom scooper" to rescue the turtles now being cared for at the university's campus.
Hatchlings spend about a year at Stockton, to give them a "head start" prior to being released back into the wild.
As of early May, there are more than 1,000 terrapins there, as the new rescues joined some still rehabbing from last year.