Saturday, April 26, 2014

Time for Turtles...

Today I had a very fun morning thanks to my friend Fritzi.

Last week, Fritzi told me about a free program that was scheduled today by the Turtle Rescue League (click on the green words, if you want to learn more about them).  They are based here in New England and located in Southbridge the town next to where we live.   The program was basically a Turtle 911 class.  It covered what to do if you see an injured turtle, if you see a turtle digging in your yard, if you see a turtle in the street and if you see a baby turtle.

I was pretty sure I would enjoy learning more about turtles, which to me are some of the coolest creatures on the earth, but I was unprepared to be so totally engaged by the presentation.  We learned a lot of facts about the turtles that are residents of Massachusetts, but we also got to see a lot of them up close.  And that was fantastic!

Here is a Painted Turtle.  They are pretty common around here.  When Olive, the pug, and I walk down to see the horses, we often stop by the Turtle Pond to watch them sunning on the logs and rocks there.


This is an Eastern Box Turtle, a less common turtle than the Painted Turtle.  He has protected status in all the New England States.


And here’s the much misunderstood Common Snapper.  This young turtle (whose name I can’t remember.  Sorry, Turtle!) was raised by the folks at the Turtle Rescue League for the purpose of education and seemed very comfortable with the people in the room.  She sat and watched us watch her for a while.


Then I guess she got sick of looking at us and did an about face.


We were told the proper way of handling a Snapper.  It’s easier than you think and can be done very safely.  They are not nearly the scary turtles I always heard they were.

We got to see a very small baby Painted Turtle…

This is a poor picture, I know, but I was impressed by the small size of this little fellow.
…and turtles in various stages of rehabilitation, most of who will eventually be released into the wild.

I was so impressed by the knowledge and enthusiasm of Alexxi and Natasha who are the principal staff of the Turtle Rescue League.  I would like to thank them and their volunteers again for the tireless work they do for these special creatures.

I promise to put together a turtle rescue kit for my car.  I must say though, helping a turtle cross the street is one thing. I’m not sure how I would react if I ever found a turtle who has been hit by a car.  I hope I would have enough pluck to do what is necessary to get the turtle safely to the folks at the Turtle Rescue League so that they can nurse it back to health or in a worst case scenario, humanely euthanize it.   On the bright side, they actually harvest eggs from mortally injured female turtles and have released very many of the surviving turtle babies back into the wild.  And that is just so cool!

You know, it’s very uplifting to meet people who are so passionate about nature, even this small, but important, part of it!

PS.  I am informed by my friend Diane O-J who accompanied Fritzi, Fritzi's daughter Emily and me to the Turtle 911 class that the Snapper's name is Nibbles.  I can't believe I forgot that because just last week I was doubled up with laughter at this video of Joey Votto (of the Cincinnati Reds) being interviewed on Fox Sports.  If you watch it, you will see why.


14 comments:

vertizoo said...

Nibbles! The "baby" snapping turtle's name is Nibbles! They say it was a lot cuter when she was still tiny. Now, at 5 years old, she's still a baby, but a reeeeeally big one!

vertizoo said...

*it was a lot cuter* as in the name, Nibbles... LOL!

TexWisGirl said...

sounds like a talk i should sit through. :)

my sis-in-law rescued a box turtle that got hit by a car. took it to the vet and had it treated. they adopted her and have her in their apartment with their 2 cats. she has 3 legs now.

kat from ky. said...

Very cool program. My congratulations to these special people. If I were a turtle I would consider myself very lucky to be cared for in this place. I love the painted one.

Brian King said...

The box turtle looks like he means business! Very serious. We see a lot of Red-eared Sliders around here.

Lynn said...

It is always heart warming to learn of these rescue places, and all who take part in the process should be given medals :-). I enjoyed the photos and will now go to the TRLeague link. I have not seen a turtle around here other than in the Zoos and private Botanical gardens.

Kerri Farley said...

Hooray for Turtles - and for those that Rescue them!
Great post!

Pamela Gordon said...

How interesting. I have not heard of a program in our area. I think I may have seen a live turtle in the wild only a couple of times on the road. The Painted Turtle is pretty. They are fascinating creatures.

Lydia Martin said...

That is so neat! Turtles are among my favorite. I've rescued a few abd we had some real big ones down in FL...we have them here as well, but you hardly ever see them.

eileeninmd said...

I usually slow down for all the critters in street. One time I made hubby get out of the car to move a snapping turtle out of the street.. This is a great post and I sure you received lots of great info to be helpful to the turtles. They are so cute! Enjoy your new week!

Juliana said...

so cute ))))

xoxo, Juliana | PJ’ Happies :) | PJ’ Ecoproject

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

My niece, who lives in NJ, has a pet turtle and would so enjoy thisnplace. Thanks for thenphotos too.

Gail Dixon said...

I love turtles, too! But I always seem to see the same one: the red eared slider. I'd love to see more of a variety. The painted turtle is really pretty. On our local news last week someone rescued an alligator snapping turtle from a culvert. He was huge! They successfully relocated him to a bayou.

Ida said...

Loved seeing the turtles. We rescued a turtle last summer and it now lives in the city part aviary. The snapper is a different looking turtle.