I Saved a Turle!

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DuttonWebb

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I was driving home from church today and found a good size cooter, maybe 9-10 inches basking in the center of my subdivision road. I stopped the car and was pretty sure he was in good health cause that sucker was powerful. I only have tortoises so I had no idea how strong large turtles were. I picked him up, put him in the trunk, and drove him to the river about 2 miles away. I cant think how he got there, he was covered in dry mud.
Im not sure what species he was because of the mud, but he had yellow stripes. anyways, it was exciting!
2nd time ive rescued a turtle from the road :][/align]
 
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Maggie Cummings

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That is a nice thing that you did...however, turtles are territorial and they live within a certain range all their lives. When you take him 2 miles away, you are removing him from his home range. Theoretically he will spend all his time trying to get back home again. *generally* they won't eat as he's trying to get back home. If it was a male he most probably recently came out of hibernation and is looking for a mate. If it was a female she was probably looking for a place to make a nest. There are tales of box turtles being removed from their home range and dying from starvation while trying to get back home.
What we tell people who remove turtles from the street is to take them to whatever side of the street they were headed toward and move them away from the road.
Is there water closer than the 2 miles to that river? A ponding basin maybe? Is your subdivision new and his range disappeared while he was hibernating? Could he have been someone's pet escaped from their pond?? There are several questions concerning taking that guy so far away.
I am NOT saying you did a bad thing, just trying to educate you as to the correct thing to do should you come across this situation again...
in your case you saved him from getting run over so that was good, but think of these things next time you come across a turtle in the road.
My family has been involved in turtle and tortoise rescue for over 30 years, and none of us has ever found a turtle in the wild or in the road, how lucky you are to have seen 2 of them...
 
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Maggie Cummings

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Hey Dutton...After I went to all that trouble to type out my last post to you (I only have one working hand so it's hard), I was most politely and respectfully corrected...box turtles are territorial but water turtles are not. Water turtles will live in any old pond...so I got to apologize to you...I was wrong! Doesn't happen very often...but you are seeing it here...I'm sorry :p
 

BigBiscuit

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DuttonWebb said:
I was driving home from church today and found a good size cooter, maybe 9-10 inches basking in the center of my subdivision road. I stopped the car and was pretty sure he was in good health cause that sucker was powerful. I only have tortoises so I had no idea how strong large turtles were. I picked him up, put him in the trunk, and drove him to the river about 2 miles away. I cant think how he got there, he was covered in dry mud.
Im not sure what species he was because of the mud, but he had yellow stripes. anyways, it was exciting!
2nd time ive rescued a turtle from the road :][/align]

Great job! Whenever I see Cooter, I think of the Dukes of Hazard.
 

DuttonWebb

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maggie3fan said:
Hey Dutton...After I went to all that trouble to type out my last post to you (I only have one working hand so it's hard), I was most politely and respectfully corrected...box turtles are territorial but water turtles are not. Water turtles will live in any old pond...so I got to apologize to you...I was wrong! Doesn't happen very often...but you are seeing it here...I'm sorry :p

It's cool. Yeah it was a cooter, I could tell that much because Ive seen them at the river, but Where he was there was no water nearby, and I'm not quite sure how he got there.

just a question....What happens when you release a captive into the wild after 5 years?
 

Yvonne G

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More than likely it will adapt, but sometimes a captive turtle doesn't know how to look for food and might starve to death. Also, they wouldn't be used to being on the look-out for predators.

Most everyone will tell you that a captive turtle will starve to death, however, I have put many a rescued turtle in my outdoor pond and they seem to figure out how to be a turtle in no time at all.

Yvonne
 
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Maggie Cummings

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DuttonWebb said:
maggie3fan said:
Hey Dutton...After I went to all that trouble to type out my last post to you (I only have one working hand so it's hard), I was most politely and respectfully corrected...box turtles are territorial but water turtles are not. Water turtles will live in any old pond...so I got to apologize to you...I was wrong! Doesn't happen very often...but you are seeing it here...I'm sorry :p

It's cool. Yeah it was a cooter, I could tell that much because Ive seen them at the river, but Where he was there was no water nearby, and I'm not quite sure how he got there.

just a question....What happens when you release a captive into the wild after 5 years?

please don't ever release a turtle that has been captive for that long. There are so many rescues that will take them. I picture that a turtle who has been captive for a long time would be afraid and not know how to feed or where to sleep...
 

Laura

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I would think releasing a captive turt would be intergrating unkn species to native species.. Hybrids? New germs.. Would be the biggest concern.. as Yvonne said.. you take one and put it in a backyard pond and they do fine.. not muc different then putting it in a wild pond. I think they would adjust.. however... you never know!!
 

Yvonne G

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That's a VERY good point Laura, and one that needs to be stressed: NEVER release a captive turtle or tortoise into the wild. Every state has laws about that. In some states its illegal. Also, find out if your turtle is a native or non-native species. There are organizations that will take in turtles and tortoises and those folks know whether or not the turtle can be released.

Yvonne
 

terryo

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Here's another sad thing about putting a turtle into a pond that you don't want any more. Where I live there is a very big pond, that empties into the bay. People who buy little tiny red ear sliders put them in this pond when they get too big or they realize all the work involved. There is also a picnic area there and sometimes the sliders or painted's that are there will come right up to the water's edge to eat out of your hand because they are so used to people. Kids pick them up and play with them or take them home etc. It is awful. I have had many an argument there with people who don't watch their kids who are playing with these poor turtles. Some are so tame that you just know they were dumped there. Sorry...just venting...
 

Gulf Coast

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Thanks for posting this info Maggie, I rescued a turtle from the middle of the road today and with your words of wisdom ringing in my ears, I took him to the side he was tryin to reach then made sure he was a good 3 feet away from the road..

So thanks for posting this of I too would have taken him down the road to a safer place near water.. and besides Im sure he knew just where he was and where he was going.. He just had to get across that busy road to get there.. :(


maggie3fan said:
That is a nice thing that you did...however, turtles are territorial and they live within a certain range all their lives. When you take him 2 miles away, you are removing him from his home range. Theoretically he will spend all his time trying to get back home again. *generally* they won't eat as he's trying to get back home. If it was a male he most probably recently came out of hibernation and is looking for a mate. If it was a female she was probably looking for a place to make a nest. There are tales of box turtles being removed from their home range and dying from starvation while trying to get back home.
What we tell people who remove turtles from the street is to take them to whatever side of the street they were headed toward and move them away from the road.
Is there water closer than the 2 miles to that river? A ponding basin maybe? Is your subdivision new and his range disappeared while he was hibernating? Could he have been someone's pet escaped from their pond?? There are several questions concerning taking that guy so far away.
I am NOT saying you did a bad thing, just trying to educate you as to the correct thing to do should you come across this situation again...
in your case you saved him from getting run over so that was good, but think of these things next time you come across a turtle in the road.
My family has been involved in turtle and tortoise rescue for over 30 years, and none of us has ever found a turtle in the wild or in the road, how lucky you are to have seen 2 of them...
 

desertsss

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I have to say, this was a very educating thread. When I lived in New Hampshire there were a lot of wild turtles. As my mother and I were driving down the road she wasn't paying complete attention and we ran over a turtle. I cried for 2 days straight. Since then I have always tried not to interfere with the wild but always stop and move them out of the road. Last summer when I was visiting my dad I couldn't sleep and took a walk around the creek in his back yard. I went to go cross the road and saw a beautiful snapper. I think she was a snapper. Absolutely beautiful but she was walking along the side of the road. It took me a couple of tries but finally picked her up and got her out of the road. I plopped her by the edge of the creek and in she went. Felt very proud of myself. She was a good 10 inches atleast. Wish I had pics, but I accidentally deleted them. :(
 

reptic_critter

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maggie3fan said:
DuttonWebb said:
maggie3fan said:
Hey Dutton...After I went to all that trouble to type out my last post to you (I only have one working hand so it's hard), I was most politely and respectfully corrected...box turtles are territorial but water turtles are not. Water turtles will live in any old pond...so I got to apologize to you...I was wrong! Doesn't happen very often...but you are seeing it here...I'm sorry :p

It's cool. Yeah it was a cooter, I could tell that much because Ive seen them at the river, but Where he was there was no water nearby, and I'm not quite sure how he got there.

just a question....What happens when you release a captive into the wild after 5 years?


please don't ever release a turtle that has been captive for that long. There are so many rescues that will take them. I picture that a turtle who has been captive for a long time would be afraid and not know how to feed or where to sleep...

what if you do the opposite and take in a wild turtle??
 

Yvonne G

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reptic_critter said:
what if you do the opposite and take in a wild turtle??

Most of us here would agree that that is also not cool. There are laws now regarding the capture of wild box turtles, and besides the laws, you (the collective "you" not you personally) delete the gene pool every time a wild turtle is taken captive. There are many folks now who breed box turtles and its very easy to find a captive bred animal.

Yvonne
 
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