Look Who I Met Driving To Work

I’d estimate the turtle was a few feet long and seriously in need of both pedi and manicures. He was not friendly!

I’d been in the car a full thirty seconds when I made my first right turn and hit the brakes. I wasn’t sure what was going on at first. It looked like an animal had been struck and a driver was kneeling over it.

Wrong. The drive was kneeling, but over a huge turtle!

There are plenty of places for a turtle to live in peace in my neighborhood. We’ve got a few brooks and ponds. Plenty of turtle food!

I’d estimate the turtle was a few feet long and seriously in need of both pedi and manicures. He was not friendly! As I bent down with my cellphone to take a few shots he lunged toward me.

Let’s face it, as a turtle you don’t get to be his size by being friendly!

This incident ended when the man who first discovered the turtle picked him up by his tail and gently placed him back into the woods.

I wonder if the turtle will post pictures of me on his blog?

25 thoughts on “Look Who I Met Driving To Work”

  1. Yikes! That’s a big guy. I remember being snapped at by a small box turtle and I learned it was a very bad idea to touch them. Glad the guy “rescued” him. 😀

    1. It is illegal to keep wildlife like this animal. I sure hope nobody kept him, and merely let him go his way. Probably was a female looking for a site to lay her eggs, or returning to the nest

  2. I had just bought my house some 25 yrs. ago and saw this big rock in the front yard which wasn’t there the day before. Turned out to be a snapper from the swamp across the street who had been laying eggs which we discovered when the babies hatched and started their trek across the street!! Thankfully, I had a neighbor who came over and by the tail put it back in the swamp. No way could I have lifted her!!

  3. This is the time of year snapping turtles travel away from the swamp to lay their eggs. You see them on the road during late June/early July every year. It’s a risky thing to pick them up. Those turtles can whip around and take off your finger.

  4. Be careful around those guys, Geoff – a snapper that size will easily take off a finger or two for your troubles.

  5. This is the time of year when turtles search for a good place to lay their eggs. We had one last week come out of the wetlands near our home and dig into our rose garden to lay her eggs. Within a couple of hours, she was gone. We covered that area with some wire so other animals don’t dig into it (such as raccoons, who like to eat eggs) and are waiting for the hatching to take place in about 6 weeks.

  6. Sexual dimorphism. In turtles the female is large and the male much smaller. That is a female turtle on a quest to lay her eggs is a sunny spot.

  7. I’m so glad he was found and moved before he was struck by a car! I saved at least 2 every year on Rt 68 around this time of year. You’d think they’d lay their nest in a close proximity to water, not across the Rt 68 highway!

  8. Geoff,

    The picture of your neighbor picking the turtle up by the tail while armed with a kitchen stool made me laugh right out loud…priceless!!

  9. Working for a Vet for many years we used to have turtles brought in that had been clipped by cars. The Painted turtles have harder shells than the snappers, so Dr Kay would clean any wounds and treat area with topical antibiotic, then make a patch with fiberglass for the shell. Most were rehomed in the pond at the Sharon Audubon Center, where they dubbed Doc as “the Turtle Man” We both rescued many each year and saw them on their way safely.

    And NO they ain’t friendly, and can snap about 1/2 way to the rear of the shell so watch where you grab them if you’re trying to help them out of the road.

  10. That’s definitely one big Mama! Have to agree it’s probably a lady trying to plant her babies somewhere safe. And that snapping turtles have long necks- the better to reach its mouth where it can do what it was named for. Thanks for sharing your encounter! I’m sure your Outback was an outstanding asset in your unexpected stop 😉

  11. The recommendation is, if you can do so safely, move them to the side of the road in the direction to which they were headed. This one looks waaay to big for a safe move. The guy who found it was lucky he didn’t get snapped!

  12. Looks like a female snapper. She goes uphill to lay eggs and will then go back to water. People often endanger them when trying to help. They’ll ‘snap ‘ onto a large stick if you really need to move one. Just be sure it’s heavy and long, and to put them on the uphill side instead of the water side.

  13. I saw a family of turtles crossing I-95 in Fairfield once. I hope they made it across ok. There was no way to stop and help them.

  14. It’s funny that you posted this because I saw a turtle crossing the road yesterday too. The one I saw was much, much smaller.

  15. We often see the same things in my neighborhood. All different sizes. I keep a pair of heavy duty gardening gloves in the car to help the smaller ones across the street because they’re often hard to see and unfortunately there have been some fatal run-ins with cars. The huge snappers are another story, pretty intimidating!!

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