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Found an Animal? Call 541-476-0222

Visit the Animal Ambassadors

Friday, Saturday & Sunday

Park Open 10:00 - 3:00 

Our Mission: Saving Wildlife

Western Pond Turtle

western pond turtle patient

Actinemys marmorata

  • Classification: Reptile
  • Lifespan in Captivity: 50+ years
  • Lifespan in the Wild: Up to 50 years
  • Length: 10 inches
  • Range: Baja California, Mexico to Northern Washington
  • Habitat: Wide variety of aquatic habitats, including; ponds, rivers, reservoirs, streams, seasonal wetlands, and flooded gravel pits
  • Diet: Omnivore
    • Diet in the Wild: Insects, crayfish, and other aquatic invertebrates, fish, tadpoles, and frogs are eaten occasionally. Plant foods include algae, lily pads, tule and cattail roots.

Western Pond Turtle News

This small turtle is one of only two species of turtles native to Oregon. Both species are listed as “sensitive-critical” and are threatened or endangered in parts of their habitat. We are lucky in Southern Oregon to have a decent population of western pond turtles.


Both the painted turtle and the western pond turtle are threatened due to invasive turtle species (often former exotic pets), habitat loss and degradation, and people illegally taking them in as pets.


Did you know that pond turtles are not fully aquatic? Pond turtles are known to journey up into forested areas during winter months to hibernate. Once it warms up, they migrate back towards areas with water. This seasonal migration puts turtles in situations where they have to cross roads and through yards. If you see a turtle crossing a road, if it is safe to do so, move it to the side of the road that it is headed.  


If you see a turtle that has been hit or hit a turtle, call your local wildlife rehabilitator for help. Each year, Wildlife Images takes care of a few pond turtles that are hit by cars.


As most people know, turtles do not move very quickly. They have a slow metabolism and this means that they heal very slowly from injuries. If we get a turtle in with a cracked shell, we can expect to have that turtle for 6-12 months or sometimes even longer. 

Visit Us

11845 Lower River Rd., Grants Pass, OR 97526
P.O. Box 36, Merlin OR 97532

Clinic/Office/Gift Shop Hours
7 days a week, 9:00 - 4:00

Self-Guided Tours
Friday, Saturday, Sunday 10:00 - 3:00   
(Park closes at 3:00)   

Ticket Prices                                                          
Adults $14 | Seniors $12 (65+)
Children (ages 4-13) $7
Children ages 3 and under by donation

Our Mission: Saving Wildlife

In this pursuit we aim to:

  • Involve people to share in our mission.
  • Educate people about the personal benefits of taking care of wildlife and the environment entrusted to our care.
  • Inspire people to make positive changes improving the world for wildlife.

We Need Your Help

With over 115 animal ambassadors, and over 1,000 sick injured and orphaned animals brought to our center each year - every dollar counts. We rely solely on people like yourself to support the work we do.

We receive no State or Federal funding and depend entirely on private funds to carry out our Mission.