Celebrate Peanut the Turtle’s birthday at Powder Valley

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Peanut the Turtle

The Missouri Department of Conservation is holding a “birthday celebration” for Peanut the Turtle at the Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center Nov. 19 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is free and open to all ages.

Peanut the Turtle, who is turning 38, has attracted attention from across the state, as well as national and worldwide fame, as an anti-littering mascot. When she was younger, the red-eared slider got stuck in a discarded plastic six-pack ring and as she grew, her shell was constricted by the plastic ring, ultimately causing her shell to develop into an unusual, figure-eight shape. When she was about 9 years old in 1993, she was found in the St. Louis area and brought to the St. Louis Zoo, where the plastic ring was removed. She was named Peanut because of her shell’s shape and given to the staff at MDC, where she has been in the care of since.

In honor of her birthday, the nature center will serve cake and host educational programs about the environmental challenges plastics pose. Other activities include information on Missouri Stream Teams, crafts, a chance to see live animals, and a meet and greet with Peanut herself.

While the event is free, the MDC is asking visitors to pre-register online at short.mdc.mo.gov/4pm.

In the spirit of Peanut’s message, participants can help with litter pickups in and around Powder Valley during the event.

“We’ll provide MoDOT NoMOre trash bags for participants, and for each bag of trash they collect, they can enter a raffle to win prizes,” MDC Naturalist Shelly Colatskie stated in a press release.

Participants can also qualify for the raffle by sending photos of themselves picking up litter at other places in the area.