Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Another snapper

Well, I made all sorts of claims yesterday... and today while driving to the gym, we came across a snapping turtle in the middle of the road! I could not swerve to avoid it, so I drove over it so it wouldn't hit the tires.

I turned around and found a place to park up the road, and ran down to where it sat, apparently unperturbed by all the cars driving around/over it. On the way over a man slowed his car, saying he would help - I told him I needed none. He parked behind my car, and my mom assured him "Don't worry, she's a zoologist."

I got to the turtle, and she was none too happy. I bet this one was freshly done with laying her eggs. About the same size as the other one I had dealt with, but most of her shell was covered in mud, in some places several centimeters thick. I realized I would not be able to grab her shell correctly, as my fingers would surely slip as she lunged at me (which she did several times).

So I grabbed her right at the base of her tail, and placed my other hand under her shell to steady her - I figured this way I was better supporting her weight, and she couldn't bite me.

Once in the grass on the other side of the road, I tried to shoo her away from the roadside - but she was not cooperating. She kept turning to snap at me. I could not get behind her, as there was an electric fence in the way - I did not realize it was an electric fence until I accidentally brushed my hand against it. Yikes!

After a few minutes I decided to leave her be, as she was about 8 feet from the road and would hopefully turn around and continue toward the farm pond nearby. On the way back from the gym, she was nowhere to be seen.

I'm always happy to help an animal cross the road :)

1 comment:

Samantha G said...

Obviously you'll be a good one to ask about this. Are snapping turtles generally pretty aggressive, or only if you mess with them? I've never had any encounters with them before, but this weekend I am doing a race in a lake where there are supposed to be quite a few of them and it's probably the only creature I'm actually nervous about when it comes to lakes. Thanks for any insight on their behavior! I'm hoping with all the swimming bodies in the water, they'll be more interested in getting away from us than hanging around.