By now I've told more than a few people what I intend to accomplish. My goal is to keep those turtles you see every day on the interstate out of your tread and into your homes. The auto is the number one predator of turtles (box turtles, sliders, maps, and the occasional cooter). The easy choice would be to help them across the road. You know, just pick on up and help the little guy across four lanes of unyielding traffic.
Herein lies the problem: there is a giant concrete wall separating the east and west lanes. This isn't true of every road, but it is true of I-44 in the part south of Oklahoma City. The only logical solution is to extract the turtle from the dangerous environment and move it to one less dangerous.
Certainly, this is an easy thing to do. Though, it's here that we are capable of doing the most damage. Numerous herpetologists agree that box turtles have a range of only around 100 yards. Once they've found a place to call home, they will remain there for their many years. If they've been removed from this environment, they will always seek it out. They really aren't the greatest at finding home, however. So, by releasing them outside of home, you damn them to a life of searching, which is very upsetting to the neurotic turtle.
Sliders, likely can be caught and released into safer areas. They are nomadic by nature, moving when their home dries up or when the loins flare.
I was in Norman for the day Tuesday. On the way home I found a rather attractive red-eared slider. Chris adopted it and became the first adopter in my yet-to-be rescue agency. I also found a rather normal male ornate box turtle. Happy day! The only issue was, a tire had gotten to it before I did.
I finally got an appointment to see the vet today. I took the little guy in and I was asked what his name was. I said that I had no name in mind; I didn't want to get too attached if death was inevitable. I was then told that all animals are attached to my account by their name, and the record must have a name before it could be closed.
Someone in the other room suggested "Lucky". I found it a little disgusting. But, I couldn't think of anything else so the turtle is called Lucky at the vet. It seems that Lucky will likely be alright. It'll take some wire to reassemble the carapace. Perhaps some fiberglass will be employed to seal up the tender spots rendered open by the initial impact.
I feel like I should feel as if I did a good thing, but this only makes me anxious. There is so much more work to be done. There are so many chelonians that we discard and run over. I have slapped in some images of "Lucky", but I put the LJ-cut in there because they are fairly depressing.
If you got a better name for the boxy, please post it here.( The Grisly Images . . .Collapse )