Alva Review-Courier -

Tortoises released early into the wild in Mississippi


September 13, 2020

Scientists raising threatened tortoises at a Mississippi National Guard camp to give them a head start in the wild are trying something new – raising a few to sexual maturity and then releasing them.

The Nature Conservancy and the National Guard released their first seven adult-sized gopher tortoises Wednesday at Camp Shelby, near Hattiesburg, where the nonprofit has a tortoise hatchery.

Reptile size and sexual maturity are closely related — and the animals were trying to mate and showed other signs of sexual maturity at age 5, project leader Jim Lee, a biologist with The Nature Conse...

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