OK. I give up. I am not an expert on turtles and therefore can not truly identify the two turtles on this post. I believe they are painted turtles but not completely sure.
I met up with them on the road. I almost hit the smaller of the two as it was attempting to crawl across a fairly busy road. The larger one was poised to follow the smaller one across the road. Their destination unknown to me. But, I sure didn't want them to get hit by cars whizzing along at about fifty miles an hour.
|LARGE TURTLE WITH HEAD LOOKING AROUND|
I stopped my truck on the side of the road and walked to the middle of the highway and picked up the small one, about six inches long, and carried it to the field near the road. Then I went back and picked up the larger one, about ten to twelve inches long and put him next to the small one that now resided in the field. I felt they were buddies of some sort and probably frightened by my handling -- being together might calm them?
|SMALL AND LARGE TURTLES AFTER RESCUE|
I just happened to have my camera with me strapped in a case around my shoulder. I whipped out my camera and started taking a few shots. The larger one started to crawl away from the highway much to my relief. In reality he might have been trying to get away from me?
The photos didn't turn out that well but perhaps someone out there can ID them for me?
I do know a few general facts about turtles. One, is that they are in trouble because of habitat loss. Two, that crossing roads results in road kills which then results in large declines in local turtle populations. If one scrolls down to the end of this post there is more infomation on turtle decline.
One issue bothers me. Why so people take native turtle species and turn them into pets. As pets their life span is short. Once captive they will always need to be captive as returning them to the wild spreads disease leading to turtle deaths. Even if you think your pet turtle is healthy there is a good chance they will spread a disease to the native population if released.
|UNDERSIDE OF SMALL TURTLE|
The two turtles were fairly similar in identification marks. The one difference was the head of the large turtle was dark with barely visable streaks while the smaller one has green and creamy colors. Perhaps the difference could be age -- something like losing the vibrant color as one ages? I read someplace that painted turtles live to about fifty years old in the wild.
So if you want to save a turtle's life you can do one imporatnt simple thing. Remove it from the road if you spot one crossing (if it's a snapping turtle push it gently with your foot -- don't pick it up). Carry it to the side where it was headed. Mother nature will love you for this little action.
TURTLE CONSERVATION PROJECT -- NEW ENGLAND
TURTLE SURVIVAL ALLIANCE -- GLOBAL