I was headed home from work last evening and I saw a turtle franticly attempting to cross Airport Boulevard ( He was in the crosswalk. I pulled a U-turn and came back to the intersection, hazards on, jumped out, and after looking both ways, ran out to pick up the turtle, which had retreated into it's shell and seemed to have given up on the attempt to cross the street. Normally, and even as recently as last week, I help a turtle cross the road and then I'm on my way. This turtle was headed from the office park on the Hooters side of the road to the office park on the Taco Bell/KFC side of the road, so I decided a little more intervention might be necessary.

I put the turtle in the car, on the passenger side floor, and decided to bring it home. My plan was to keep it for the weekend and bring it back to Morrisville and release it near a pond that is right by work, in an as yet undeveloped lot. After researching turtle release info online, I found that that is probably the best solution. Turtles apparently have a strong homing mechanism in their little brains, and even if they are pleasantly relocated, they can be disoriented and their little homing compasses just kind of spin around and tell them that they are lost. I called the Piedmont Wildlife Center this morning, and I'm going to bring Shelly (the turtle) by for a check up. It looks like he's (I think it's a he) tried to cross before and narrowly escaped a crushing. There's some shell scarring on his hindquarters. They'll check it out, and maybe hang on to him to give it a chance to heal up.

NOW, on with the show...

Shelly's temporary home

Lots of in-shell hiding action!

The road and the damage done.

A pleasant portrait.

After a little pep talk...

...we took a little deck walk.

Nice coloring.

So, let's review.

1) Best bet, if it's safe, is to just help the turtle cross the road, in the same direction that it was originally headed
2) Relocation is an option, but the closer to the original location the better
3) Turtles are awesome


Anonymous jenny hammy said...

Tortuga and I concur... turtles are awesome!

6:39 PM  

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