Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Monster Crawl - and you!

Algae coated snapping turtle crawls out across a rural county roadwide.
photo by Jonathan Schechter

Turtles have been crawling across the landscape with little change from their ancient forms for hundreds of thousands of years. These present day dinosaurs are well adapted to life in Michigan with the notable exception of crossing highways when the pond, the lake or the egg laying site lures them to the other side.
So what do you do when you encounter one on the roadway?
What you do not do is take her - and it is usually a her  - back to where she came from. Take her to the other side and keep her pointed in the direction she was going. And if you encounter our monster turtle, the prehistoric looking snapping turtle of weedy lakes and backwaters use caution in handling. Be sure to hold her well back on the shell out of twisted neck reach. The neck can extend and twist with lightning speed.  The bite is powerful and claws can scratch with force. Taking a snapping turtle by the tail and tossing is not helpful, it's cruel.


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