16 baby turtles find new home in Eastern Iowa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

16 baby turtles find new home in Eastern Iowa

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

16 of the turtles found in luggage last week have new homes in Eastern Iowa.

There were over 200 turtles packed into boots and other luggage in an attempt to smuggle them to China. They were found at the airport in Anchorage, Alaska.

Eight of the turtles are at the Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium in Dubuque. The other eight were split among the Mines of Spain Recreation Area and the Maquoketa Caves State Park. 

Andy Allison, Director of living collections at the museum in Dubuque, says the eight turtles they have will stay in quarantine for the next 30-60 days.

They have to make sure they get used to their new environments, food and sleep schedule, he said.

After the quarantine period, they will join some slightly older turtles in an exhibit for the public to see. 

Allison said as word has gotten out about the turtles, people have become increasingly excited to see them. 

"The staff just keeps saying how cute they are," he said. "So we're really excited for the public to share in that and experience that as well."

The turtles are Wood Turtles on the Iowa endangered list, Blanding's Turtles on the Iowa threatened list, and Loggerhead Musk Turtles.

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