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Does the Frog-Mouthed Turtle Exist?
Is the frog-mouthed turtle an interesting species you haven’t heard of? Or a fictional animal that only exists in Jellystone Park?
This part amphibian, part reptile creature is featured in the new movie, Yogi Bear, as an almost extinct species that inhabits Yogi Bear’s home, Jellystone Park. When the corrupt Mayor Brown threatens to shut down Jellystone and sell the land, Yogi Bear and his pal, Boo Boo, team up to save the turtle–and the park.
So is the frog-mouthed turtle real?
Sorry Yogi, but the frog-mouthed turtle is as fictional as Jellystone Park.
There actually is such a thing as a turtle frog. Native to Australia, this species is one of the only head-first burrowing frogs. Another characteristic is that their young skip the tadpole stage. They develop entirely within their egg and emerge as frogs.
Turtle or No, Protecting Habitat Does Protect Wildlife
Yogi Bear does however have the right idea when it comes to making sure habitat for endangered species is taken care of. The Endangered Species Act was enacted by Congress in 1973, and requires the federal government to protect:
- Endangered Species – species likely to become extinct throughout all or a large portion of their range.
- Threatened Species – species that are likely to become endangered in the near future.
- Critical habitat – habitat vital to the survival of endangered or threatened species.
Currently in the United States, more than 1,350 real plants and animals are listed as threatened or endangered.
Yogi Bear is Connected to Nature–Are You?
National Wildlife Federation teamed up with the film Yogi Bear to extend the movie’s lessons and inspire kids and families to learn about wildlife and to get outside in their own neighborhood or favorite park.
Because Yogi and Boo Boo spend their days outdoors in Jellystone, they lead the charge to save the park.
This connection happens for people too–especially kids. The more connected children are to outdoor spaces, the more they connect with the importance of helping the environment. This is the core of National Wildlife Federation’s Be Out There campaign.
National Wildlife Federation put together a special Yogi Bear Outdoor Activity Guide for parents and teachers with some great ideas for kids.
Yogi Bear: On the Big Screen
For more about Yogi Bear, visit www.nwf.org/yogibear. Or test your knowledge of REAL bears with Ranger Rick’s online game Be Bear Aware.