Western Painted Turtle
The western painted turtle (Chrysemys Picta Bellii) was designated the official state reptile of Colorado in 2008 thanks to the efforts of Jay Baichi's 4th grade class. The 4th graders began the process to have the Western painted turtle designated as the Colorado state reptile in 2007. The next year students completed the necessary legal steps and Governor Ritter signed HB 08-1017 on March 18, 2008 naming the western painted turtle as Colorado's reptile symbol.
Jay Baichi's two classes (2007-2008) researched Colorado reptiles and decided that the Western painted turtle (a common sight around many Colorado ponds and lakes) was most representative of Colorado reptiles.