Bog turtle officially named New Jersey state reptile

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TRENTON -

New Jersey now has an official state reptile – the bog turtle.

Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill Monday designating the bog turtle as New Jersey’s state reptile.

Officials said Riverside Elementary School science teacher Mark Eastburn told his students two years ago that New Jersey didn't have a state reptile. 

So, they decided to advocate for the bog turtle, which was federally listed as a threatened species in 1997, in hopes that the designation would help restore the habitat and allow the species to thrive.

Murphy said Monday he wanted to commend students, teachers and scientists for working to protect the turtle and the environment.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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