Box turtles come home after one year

terryo

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Last Spring a devastating thing happened to me and my family of turtles. I went down to see my turtles, and since they just came up from hibernation, wanted to make sure everyone was OK. The turtle garden was a mess, plants stepped on and crushed, and the little pond was muddy. Since none of the plants were up and full, the whole garden seemed empty. After searching through the hibernation cave, I realized that four turtles were missing. I've never had a problem with predators in 9 years that I have the turtle garden. Also, my little pond was a mess. Plants broken, and the screen cover that I keep on the pond to catch the Winter leaves was off and on the ground. I frantically searched the whole yard, and finally found my Wood turtles, a mated pair, laying under a pine tree in the back of the yard. One was just a shell, and completely empty, and the other one was half empty. They were a beautiful pair and very hard to acquire. I can't even think of a word to explain how I felt. A neighbor told me an Opossum was spotted in someone's yard. The reason I'm telling this story, is because I am always amazed at how smart box turtles are. Each one has a distinct personality. Each one has a different look and pattern. Each one is beautiful to me.One year has passed and I never found the the two that were missing.......until this week.Six AM my husband is sitting looking out the window and he spots a turtle coming up the side path toward the turtle garden. He wakes me up yelling, I jump out of bed and there is my large male, Meanie coming up the walk, like he was just out for a morning stroll.He came home!! I couldn't believe it.....he wasn't dead, or eaten, but carried away and dropped someplace. Mr. Opossum probably couldn't break his shell, so threw him away someplace and he found his way home after a year. I put him in the garden, after giving him a good wash. He ran right to the pond for a soak and drink. He seemed lighter and a little dehydrated, but OK.
About ten AM my husband looks out the window and coming up the walk is the female, Penny. He calls me, and I come running. I'm in shock. They must have hibernated together, but both found their way home after a year long adventure. She is fine and back in her garden now.The point of this story is this: If you see a wild box turtle in the woods, leave him there. He will spend the rest of his live trying to get home. I never believed this when I heard it, but now I know it's true. All my turtles were given to me when they were the size of a quarter and grew up here in the garden. This is their home,
 

Pearly

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Last Spring a devastating thing happened to me and my family of turtles. I went down to see my turtles, and since they just came up from hibernation, wanted to make sure everyone was OK. The turtle garden was a mess, plants stepped on and crushed, and the little pond was muddy. Since none of the plants were up and full, the whole garden seemed empty. After searching through the hibernation cave, I realized that four turtles were missing. I've never had a problem with predators in 9 years that I have the turtle garden. Also, my little pond was a mess. Plants broken, and the screen cover that I keep on the pond to catch the Winter leaves was off and on the ground. I frantically searched the whole yard, and finally found my Wood turtles, a mated pair, laying under a pine tree in the back of the yard. One was just a shell, and completely empty, and the other one was half empty. They were a beautiful pair and very hard to acquire. I can't even think of a word to explain how I felt. A neighbor told me an Opossum was spotted in someone's yard. The reason I'm telling this story, is because I am always amazed at how smart box turtles are. Each one has a distinct personality. Each one has a different look and pattern. Each one is beautiful to me.One year has passed and I never found the the two that were missing.......until this week.Six AM my husband is sitting looking out the window and he spots a turtle coming up the side path toward the turtle garden. He wakes me up yelling, I jump out of bed and there is my large male, Meanie coming up the walk, like he was just out for a morning stroll.He came home!! I couldn't believe it.....he wasn't dead, or eaten, but carried away and dropped someplace. Mr. Opossum probably couldn't break his shell, so threw him away someplace and he found his way home after a year. I put him in the garden, after giving him a good wash. He ran right to the pond for a soak and drink. He seemed lighter and a little dehydrated, but OK.
About ten AM my husband looks out the window and coming up the walk is the female, Penny. He calls me, and I come running. I'm in shock. They must have hibernated together, but both found their way home after a year long adventure. She is fine and back in her garden now.The point of this story is this: If you see a wild box turtle in the woods, leave him there. He will spend the rest of his live trying to get home. I never believed this when I heard it, but now I know it's true. All my turtles were given to me when they were the size of a quarter and grew up here in the garden. This is their home,

What a sad begining of your story! And what a wonderful end to it!!!! One of my RF’s went missing too when he was just a little youngster. I stuck to this forum like a glue and tried doing all the tricks you guys told me in hopes of finding him. And we did! Find him! 4wks later! I am so sorry you had to find your little shelled babies eaten. Can only imagine how that had to make you feel. I am so sorry! But I’m very happy that the 2 lost babies came back to you! They are special! And to them you and the home you’ve created for them are special too[emoji217]
 

ColleenT

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Wow, that is crazy. I worked at a wildlife rehab center for a while, and i believe your predator was not an oppossum, but maybe a coyote or someone's dog. Oppossums have terrible eyesight, and eat much smaller prey. To carry a turtle would be very difficult for them. I am glad you found your 2 missing boxies. So sorry about your wood turtles.
 

Yvonne G

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Ah. . . now I understand your long absence. I'm so sorry you had to go through this. I'm with Colleen, I don't think it was an opossum, but rather a raccoon, or maybe a family of raccoons. Several years ago I lost a few box turtles to a raccoon. They're very smart and know how to find hiding box turtles.
 

terryo

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Ah. . . now I understand your long absence. I'm so sorry you had to go through this. I'm with Colleen, I don't think it was an opossum, but rather a raccoon, or maybe a family of raccoons. Several years ago I lost a few box turtles to a raccoon. They're very smart and know how to find hiding box turtles.
Just a lot of problems Yvonne
I have my great grandson now. Babies are high maintenance. I still come and read the posts. Always like reading and learning new stuff.
 

Yvonne G

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Just a lot of problems Yvonne
I have my great grandson now. Babies are high maintenance. I still come and read the posts. Always like reading and learning new stuff.
I'd love to see pictures of the baby. I was the day caregiver for my son's daughter many years ago, so I understand how babies can take more of your time.

Have you had time to get your turtle garden back in shape?
 

terryo

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Yes, everything is 20190707_111603.jpg 20190707_111634.jpg 20190707_124642.jpg 20190713_152454.jpg good now in the turtle garden. Sad news....my old box turtle from when I was born in my Dad's turtle garden, never came up this Spring.. He was well over 70 years old. I guess he's with my Dad now eating Spring figs

20180323_171230_1521850068304_1521850605903.jpeg IMG_6675.jpg
 

terryo

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I'd love to see pictures of the baby. I was the day caregiver for my son's daughter many years ago, so I understand how babies can take more of your time.

Have you had time to get your turtle garden back in shape?
It's a little overgrown, because I want them to be able to hide, but still looks good. At least I know they are in there. That's me with my two great grand kids. Kayleiah and Alexander. My son as a farm in New Jersey now and Kayleiah lives with him and his wife and loves all the animals. Hope I'm posting this in the right place.....if not, just move it. 37632967_10156252901200552_2775106067913244672_o.jpg
 

Yvonne G

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Yes, everything is View attachment 276576 View attachment 276577 View attachment 276578 View attachment 276579 good now in the turtle garden. Sad news....my old box turtle from when I was born in my Dad's turtle garden, never came up this Spring.. He was well over 70 years old. I guess he's with my Dad now eating Spring figs

View attachment 276581 View attachment 276582
They're both adorable! I know it's a lot of work when you've already raised your own and kicked them out of the nest, but it's also wonderful to spend their formative years with them.
 

Yvonne G

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It's a little overgrown, because I want them to be able to hide, but still looks good. At least I know they are in there. That's me with my two great grand kids. Kayleiah and Alexander. My son as a farm in New Jersey now and Kayleiah lives with him and his wife and loves all the animals. Hope I'm posting this in the right place.....if not, just move it. View attachment 276583
OMG! What a cute picture!!

It's YOUR thread. You can put in it whatever you want in it.
 

Tom

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Hi Terry! I've missed you! Sorry to hear about your turtles, but I'm glad to hear you are alive and well. :)

I didn't see any mention of Millie(No longer Millie, I know...). Did he make it?
 

terryo

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He's still in there Tom. Glad to see you are still here too. I'll see if I can get a picture. It's a little over grown now, but I'll look for him tomorrow and get you a picture. He's a grumpy old man now. Haha.
 

Gijoux

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It's a little overgrown, because I want them to be able to hide, but still looks good. At least I know they are in there. That's me with my two great grand kids. Kayleiah and Alexander. My son as a farm in New Jersey now and Kayleiah lives with him and his wife and loves all the animals. Hope I'm posting this in the right place.....if not, just move it. View attachment 276583
Beautiful Tortie Garden!!
 

Pearly

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enchilada

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I’m pretty sure that was done by a group of raccoons, not Mr opossum.
Same thing happened to me years ago and the scene was exactly the same as yours , also half empty turtles left on my door step. The only survivor was the tortoise I kept indoor .
Next evening that group of raccoons showed up again, they were so fierce one of them start charging at me , so I smashed it’s head with a broom stick .
 
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