Voting is over. Nebraska's official state reptile is...

An ornate box turtle

Nebraskans have voted online for their nominee for state reptile, and the clear winner was the ornate box turtle. Probably not a surprise; the slow-moving creature, with its yellow-streaked shell, is one of the nation’s most familiar four-legged critters.

Now the Game and Parks Commission will send the results to Nebraska lawmakers for a possible official vote on whether to make this new addition to a Nebraska state-symbol pantheon that includes goldenrod and the Western meadowlark.

In other turtle news, Game and Parks and a specialist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are puzzling over how a rare Blanding’s turtle turned up near Scottsbluff, more than 100 miles west of its known habitat. Was it moved by a curious tourist? Did it become disoriented or adventurous? Or was it disappointed its dapper cousin, the box turtle, won the vote for state reptile?

Perhaps we’ll never know.

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