Ornate box turtle named Nebraska’s state reptile

WOWT Ornate box turtle named Nebraska state reptile
WOWT Ornate box turtle named Nebraska state reptile
Published: Oct. 28, 2022 at 3:54 PM CDT
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GRETNA, Neb. (WOWT) - Nebraska has a new state reptile.

Gov. Ricketts proclaimed the ornate box turtle as Nebraska’s official state reptile during a ceremony Friday hosted by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

Ornate box turtles live in grasslands throughout most of Nebraska. It’s one of 48 different species of reptiles that inhabit Nebraska.

The ornate box turtle got its name from its single hinge shell. It can enclose itself almost entirely to protect itself from predators.

Eight other turtle species live in Nebraska. Most of the state’s turtle species live in the water at least some of the time. But the ornate box turtle is a land turtle. It’s often found in short, mixed or tallgrass prairies in the Sandhills and southwestern Nebraska.

“Nebraskans take pride in caring for the natural world, including our wildlife and their habitats,” said Gov. Ricketts. “Ornate box turtles are especially popular here in the Good Life.”

An activity with a live turtle for students followed the proclamation at the Schramm Education Center in Gretna.

Students enjoy an activity learning about the ornate box turtle
Students enjoy an activity learning about the ornate box turtle(Office of Gov. Pete Ricketts)