We are working in partnership with Chattahoochee Nature Center to care for the following native animals:
Common Snapping Turtle: Common snapping turtles are noted for their belligerent disposition when out of the water using their powerful beak-like jaws to defend themselves if disturbed. Adults can be up to 18 inches in length and weigh up to 35 pounds, and in some areas they are hunted very heavily for their meat, a popular ingredient in turtle soup. The common snapping turtle prefers bodies of water which have a soft mud or sand bottom, aquatic vegetation, and plenty of submerged tree trunks or brush where they will eat almost anything: aquatic plants, algae, arthropods, insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals and even carrion.
Bluegill: Like other sunfish, bluegills are "tall" and "flat." They have a small mouth on a short head. The dorsal fin is continuous, with the front part spiny and the back part soft and round with a dark smudge at the base. The tail fin is slightly forked but rounded. The body is mainly olive green with yellowish underneath. A close look reveals six to eight olive-colored vertical bars on the sides. Bluegill like to live in lakes and slow-moving, rocky streams. They can often be found in deep beds of weeds. Bluegills are carnivores, primarily eating invertebrates such as snails, worms, shrimp, aquatic insects, small crayfish, and zooplankton. The very small mouth of this fish is an adaptation to eating small animals. They can also consume small fish such as minnows and plant material such as algae. Young bluegill eat worms and zooplankton, staying under cover while adults feed more in the open.
Yellow-bellied Slider: Yellow-bellied sliders can be found in almost any body of water or stream in the Southeastern United States, but can be crowded out by pet Red-eared Sliders that have been discarded by their owners. Sliders can live for more than a quarter of a century, reaching a maximum length of almost a foot! There is a vertical yellow line behind the eye and stripes on the neck, arms, and legs. Yellow-bellied sliders are aquatic, omnivorous, and will opportunistically eat aquatic insects, fish, frog eggs and tadpoles, aquatic snakes and a wide variety of aquatic plants and algae.