Monday, June 04, 2007

Turtle Rescue Time

Snapping Turtle
(Chelydra serpentina)

Most of Sunday was spent moving irate mother snapping turtles out of the roadways in Lanark and onto the verges in safety, and we were happy we had remembered our snapper moving implements, a heavy spade for scooping up the smaller mamas, a dilapidated corn broom and a stout length of timber (2 x 4). The day's score was nine turtles, and they all made it to safety with a little assistance and determination, although more than one wanted to trundle back across the roadway in the other direction and had to be moved two or three times.

The biggest of our snapper mamas weighed almost forty pounds and moving her was not difficult - she fastened her formidable jaws onto the end of our stout turtle moving timber, and we dragged her all the way to the ditch and safety.

By the end of the day, our tools were so thoroughly chewed that they were almost unrecognizable, but really - how can one leave these fierce, indomitable and astonishing ladies in the middle of a roadway to be run down and killed by speeding motorists?


Marcie said...

We have to rescue painteds and snappers around here occassionally too, but I can't believe there were nine all on the same day! Wow! I'm glad you saved the little dinosaurs!

kerrdelune said...

Nine was something of a record, even for us! Five rescued snappers was our previous record. An acquaintance who lives up the road from us in Lanark said that he had moved eleven so far and was sure his own turtle rescue statistics were going to be much higher this year.

It seems almost certain that there will be a record number of baby snappers around later, and that is a good thing. As the wetlands are slowly being drained and replaced with housing developments, snapping turtle habitat is disappearing rapidly.

Marcie said...

I live in a nice little area of habitat for turtles (lots of wetlands) but of course just several miles away they are filling wetlands for a new development. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Hey there, sis!

Just checkin' in and I'm smiling up a storm as I imagine you rescuing all those mamas...and not one bit surprised.

With love,
Prairie Star

Rowan said...

It's so good to read about this sort of thing, in UK people patrol and help toads across busy roads in spring as they make their way to their breeding places. Not quite as exciting (or dangerous) as the turtles but also an essential thing to do.

Anonymous said...

Cross-species sisterhood - I love it! Very clever using the timber that way, I don't know that I would have thought of it.

What I hate, absolutely hate, is seeing an animal that's been killed by a car. It seems so senseless - it may be just as dead if it ends up as lunch for a hawk, but at least I can see some sense in that.