UT pond scrub-down sends turtles to temporary home

UT Turtle Pond (Daniel Guerrero/KXAN)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The University of Texas Turtle Pond is getting a scrub-down, which means the little turtles that live in it will be getting a temporary home.

Turtles in the UT Turtle Pond began their short vacation Monday morning as the largest of the three pools at the Turtle Pond gets its first cleaning and draining in 12 years. Turtles from that pond will be moved to a safe location until the work is completed.

While there are three ponds in this area, this project involves only the largest of the three ponds. Turtles in the two higher-elevation ponds will not be affected.

Built over the years from 1934 to 1939, the pond is a popular green space north of the UT Tower and needs to be drained and cleaned periodically — since the last major cleaning or repair project happened in 2002.

Dr. David Hillis — with the Department of Integrative Biology in the College of Natural Sciences — and about a dozen students, faculty and staff volunteers from UT’s Texas Natural History Collection and the College of Natural Sciences caught the turtles, loaded them into wading pools in minivans and took them to the Brackenridge Field Lab at 2907 Lake Austin Boulevard.


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