Turtle Dogs Fielded by the St. Louis Zoo’s Box Turtle Project

Boykin Spaniels lend a nose to box turtle conservation.
Boykin Spaniel with three-toed box turtle
Wild three-toed box turtle

Noses to the ground, seven Boykin Spaniels range across open grassland and into a forest of oak and hickory trees. They’re followed by a rangy guy in an orange high-viz vest and a pack of researchers in green vests. As one of the dogs nears a find—in this case, a three-toed box turtle—her tail begins wagging wildly. Once she locates the turtle, she carefully picks it up in her mouth, then returns to the group of humans trailing in her wake. There, she releases it into a waiting hand, gets a lot of praise, then goes back to work.

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