Monday, February 25, 2013

Snapping Turtle Rescued

Yesterday as we were coming back from the fish market I spied a large turtle crossing the road. There was quite a bit of traffic so Gary pulled over so I could block cars from hitting the turtle. This turtle is over 12 inches long just in the shell. I intended to pick up the turtle and carry it across the road, but as I neared the turtle I saw it was a snapping turtle.

Snapping turtles can reach their hind legs with their long necks and bite. If you pick them up or drag them by their tail their spine can be injured. If you get them to bite a stick and drag them their undersides and legs will be rubbed raw and infection can set in.

Of course when the turtle saw me approaching she stopped moving. I assumed it was a female who had ventured out of the water to lay her eggs. What was I going to do? I decided to stand in the middle of the road and direct traffic around her.

Just about then the sheriff came by from the other direction and I flagged him down. He asked me if the turtle had been injured yet. I said no. He quickly got out of his truck with some large thick gloves. He used a special technique to get the turtle to retract his head by tapping his head with the glove and waiting to see if the turtle would try to bite.

When he saw the turtle seemed docile enough he put on the gloves and picked up the turtle and carried it across the road. Here you can see how large the turtle was in comparison to the sheriff's gloved hands. I suspect the turtle was quite heavy too. I'm so glad the sheriff came along. Thanks for reading and for all your comments..


  1. How nice of you to help the turtle! Thank you! I'm glad the sheriff knew how to deal with them! Your place looks so warm! We are having icy snow!

  2. Hi Linda
    Good thing you knew enough about them to avoid damaging the turtle and what good timing by the Sheriff! Nice cooperation all round :^)

  3. We had one in our neighborhood that was at the bend in the road a couple years ago. One woman fetched a recycling bin and another took a stick and waved it at the turtle and found she would move to avoid the stick and they were able to coax her into the recycling bin and the two woman dragged the bin down to the lake and released her there out of harm's way. She was a big one like your friend. Actually, I think she was even bigger, because I can't imagine anyone could pick her up, even if there wasn't the threat of her biting.

    I'm glad you stopped to help this one and keep it from being hit.

  4. How nice that you could aid the snapper from a truly dangerous place. Snappers can get huge! Every once in a while someone finds a biggie in one of our local ponds. We had a baby in our fish pond last summer. We took him off to a river canoe landing.

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  6. What a great wildlife adventure for you all, Linda! I was thrilled that the events all came together (you directing traffic, sheriff coming by at the right time, and he knew how to take care of it too!) This is one for the books, and I noticed you had your camera out! Those baby snappers of the next generation owe a lot to you.

  7. Thanks for saving the turtle. I didn't realize all of that about snapping turtles. I'm not even really sure how to identify one but I'll research now (thanks to the link in Orbem's comment).

  8. Just last week, I read an article about a college student in SC who did an experiment to see how many drivers would deliberately run over a turtle in the road. He placed a rubber turtle in a busy road and counted out of 267 vehicles, seven swerved to run over the turtle! Turtle populations are in decline and road kills alone can cause it because they reproduce slowly. (see Mother Nature Network article by Laura Moss) Thank you for taking the time to rescue that turtle. It really mattered!

  9. Hurray for the turtle rescue! Yet another good deed done by Linda Starr.

  10. You will never see this happen in Hawaii, though there are green turtles on some beaches here. Lol. Good, happy ending for the snapping turtle.

  11. I love your story of adventure with the turtle. I wouldn't have known that about snapping turtles, or even what kind it was. Good thing you did, and that you were able to get some help in rescuing him. What a beautiful (and lucky) turtle.

  12. It is nice to care about creatures great and small !

  13. I love happy endings...thank God the police officer came by when he did. Obviously he has done this before. :)

  14. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. And a huge thank you to both you and the police officer.

  15. Hi Midori, thanks, we are very warm this week but will get cooler at the end, we are lucky that way here.

    Hi Anna, thanks, I could tell by his tail he wasn't one of those docile turtles and didn't want to risk picking him up, his spines I think were a warning to me and Gary knew right off as he leaned out the window.

    Hi Schnee, thanks, I don't know what we would have done if the sheriff hadn't of come by; we usually have a milk crate in the back of the car but I don't think we did this time. A good reason to carry supplies in the car here, there are so many instances when something is needed.

    Hi Suzi, thanks, I was just reading about how huge they can get; each one of these circumstances is a learning experience for me.

    Hi Joanne, thanks, I am so glad we drove up at just that moment.

    Hi Barbara, thanks, I love to save all the animals I can they have a hard life with all the human obstacles I think.

    Hi Lori, thanks, they have a very long tail and can't tuck their head or legs inside like other turtles.

    Hi Ms. Sparrow, thanks, oh that is just sad folks would purposely run over a helpless turtle. I hope they all got flat tires from the shell breaking; just plain cruel. Reminds me of the farmers who shoot coyote just for the fun of it then wonder why their farms are overrun with rabbits, rats, and gophers, silly them. All of the critters make for a balance of nature.

    Hi Michele, thanks, it was that turtle's lucky day.

    Hi Gigi, thanks, oh I bet Hawaii has the sea turtles nesting in the sand somewhere there. I have yet to see one of them, maybe some day.

    Hi Barbara, thanks, look at the photo and see how long his tail is - that was the biggest clue to me.

    Hi Willow, thanks, oh I do love all the creatures around me.

    Hi Dee, thanks, I was kind of amazed that he had those gloves and all, a good thing to carry with one in the car I guess.

    Hi Elephant's Child, thanks, oh I was so happy it all turned out so well, it was a good fortuitous day.


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