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The Woodland Park Zoo and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife workers are preparing 47 Western pond turtles for release.

The Woodland Park Zoo and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife workers are preparing 47 Western pond turtles for release.

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SEATTLE – SEATTLE — The Woodland Park Zoo and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife workers are preparing 47 Western pond turtles for release.

The turtles have been endangered in Washington since 1993. The turtle, which is the only indigenous turtle in Puget Sound, was once on the brink of extinction. During their lowest population levels in 1990, there were only 150. Now there are nearly 1,000 in the wild.

On Thursday the workers were weighing, measuring and marking the turtles for release. The zoo said the turtles were collected from the wild and brought to the zoo to “improve their chance of survival in the wild.”

In two weeks, the workers will release the turtles.

Click here to see a 360-degree video of the turtles as they ready for the wild.