From time to time we come across hatchling turtles, mostly brought into us by people who found them in roadways or parking lots, places they’re “not supposed to be.” But think about the lives of many turtles. Snappers can live up to 80 years. Was your driveway there 80 years ago? Was your shopping mall?
Turtles, even tiny ones, usually know where they are going, and as such, when we find one in an endangering position – crossing a busy parking lot being a great example – our best move is to carry it in the direction it was going in the first place. Find the nearest safe place and let it go.
Turtle populations are hard to study, but one thing we know is that they are more in danger now than ever. They take several years to reach sexual maturity and when they do lay relatively few eggs. A mother killed in the road with her eggs inside her can severely impact a local population.
This little snapper was in a parking lot at the Emilson YMCA in Hanover, and we’re happy to say it was brought right back and placed back into the wild, no harm done!