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Dozens of turtles rescued from Arkansas sewage plant

April 24, 2019
In this April 18, 2019 photo, animal control officers for West Memphis Animal Services help with a turtle rescue effort after the reptiles got trapped in sewage pond filters at a wastewater treatment facility in West Memphis, Ark. Dozens of turtles were rescued and relocated to the Mississippi River. (Trent Stacy/West Memphis Animal Shelter via AP)
In this April 18, 2019 photo, animal control officers for West Memphis Animal Services help with a turtle rescue effort after the reptiles got trapped in sewage pond filters at a wastewater treatment facility in West Memphis, Ark. Dozens of turtles were rescued and relocated to the Mississippi River. (Trent Stacy/West Memphis Animal Shelter via AP)

WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (AP) — An east Arkansas animal shelter has rescued dozens of turtles from a wastewater treatment facility after they became trapped in sewage pond filters.

Wesley Burt with the West Memphis Animal Shelter says the treatment plant notified the shelter last Wednesday and by the end of next day, about 75 turtles had been rescued.

According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette , the reptiles — mostly box turtles with one snapping turtle — were eventually released at the banks of the Mississippi River.

Paul Holloway, superintendent of wastewater for West Memphis, which is about 120 miles (193 kilometers) east of Little Rock, says the turtles became trapped when the sewage ponds are pumped to prevent overflowing after heavy rains.

Animal shelter employees are now checking the pond for turtles daily, and the facility has said they’ll let the shelter know when they plan to activate the pumps.

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