Hello! Welcome to the 2021 Turtle Team blog! If you’re new here, my name is Kelcie Fredrickson and I am a rising third year veterinary student and the 2021 Turtle Team leader. This summer, like every summer, we are doing population based health assessments in Eastern and Ornate box turtles throughout Illinois and Tennessee. Turtle Team is made up by veterinarians, veterinary students, and an incredible team of Boykin Spaniels owned by the one and only John Rucker.

One of the amazing Boykin spaniels showing off her find – stolen from a previous summer.


If you’re not new here, welcome back! There are some new and exciting things in the works for this summer and I cannot wait to share with you all!


Turtle Team got an early start on the field season last week searching for Ornate box turtles in northern Illinois. Luckily for you all, a news crew from the Chicago Tribune was there to capture some incredible pictures and get the inside scoop on our health assessments. If you want to check it out, click here to find the article. While you’re at it, check out our Instagram and Twitter (@wildlifeepilab) for more on this story and much more content! As much as I hated to miss it (and believe me I did), I am super excited that they were able to get out into the field and start finding some turtles! However, Turtle Team adventures didn’t stop there! Field season has continued this week in Vermilion Co. where they are catching and sampling Eastern box turtles.


The only thing getting me through these final exams is knowing that I will be in the field in just a few short days! Stay tuned for some Cape Cod adventures and be sure to check out Lauren Vincent’s blog!