my TENNESSEE DR. JOSH ENNEN’s love of local species began during his undergraduate work studying the breeding habits of wood frogs in the Great Smoky Mountains. Today, he works as a conservation biologist for the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute in Chattanooga. His current project is a 3-year study on alligator snapping turtles, the largest freshwater turtle (we’re talking up to 200 pounds) in North America. This mighty-looking species can live up to 100 years, but it’s disappearing— almost to the point of becoming endangered. Ennen is developing a conservation strategy for these massive turtles living in West Tennessee. In the meantime, get a glimpse for yourself at the Tennessee Aquarium, which houses the largest collection of turtle species in North America, including a 140- pound alligator snapping turtle.
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