More than 100 red-bellied turtles were released into ponds in Myles Standish State Park with hopes the endangered reptiles will survive and replenish their ranks, a published report said Friday.

Only 300 of the turtles still exist in the world, wildlife officials said, and all of them live in Carver and Plymouth. Biologists have been coddling the endangered turtles all winter at the New England Aquarium, where they stayed in heated glass tanks and were fed romaine and redleaf lettuce, The Boston Globe said.

Had the turtles been left in the wild as young hatchlings, they would have faced slim chances of survival, said Terry A. Graham, a turtle specialist and biology professor at Worcester State College.