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I rescued a turtle today

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
...and I need some advice.

I found a cute little turtle in a parking lot close to Lake Erie. He was hanging out in a big puddle of standing water. I didn't think to much of it since I figured no one would try to park in this big puddle of standing water. I was wrong. Someone pulled right in and I jumped out of my car and stopped the lady. She then pulled out and I was able to fish the little guy out of the puddle. Then I made a big mistake.

I, being someone who does not know very much about turtles, thought well he must have come up from the lake. So I took him down to the beach. The waves were kinda big but he started to head toward the water so I just happily watched, until he made it and then proceeded to get tossed around like a rag doll and was struggling so bad to get back to the beach. Yup complete screw up on my part. So off come my shoes and socks and I roll up my jeans and wade in trying to pick him off as the waves push him back to the shore. I got soaked, but I was finally able to grab him and breath a sigh of relief that I didn't end up sending the poor little guy to his death after saving him from being smooshed.

So now what I have is a common midland painted turtle which appears to be quite common in these parts. I have the perfect spot to release him at but I just want to make sure that its the right thing to do. I plan on taking him to a local nature preserve and put him there where there are tons of other turtles just like him. Will this be OK? Turtles are not territorial are they? I couldn't find a single spot that would be where a turtle would come from in the area where I found him (not even sure how the little bugger got there in the first place since he certainly didn't come from the lake and there is no other water sources near that parking lot.) Any risk of getting in trouble if I release him there? He is an Ohio species so I wouldn't be "dumping" a pet store turtle.

And of course some pictures of my little rescue reptile.

post #2 of 8
Originally Posted by Mai_kitties View Post
Turtles are not territorial are they?
Turtles are. Depending on species, size, season, and gender they may have an area they wander that covers a couple miles or they may live their entire life in one pond.
The reason people always see them out in inappropriate places is because they often move between water sources/feeding areas and nesting grounds.

Chances are there is a little farm pond near where you found this turtle or a boggy area. Releasing the turtle in another area may actually lower it's chances of survival, especially if it has to compete for food (with a lot of other turtles).

If you do attempt to release this turtle on a preserve... don't get caught. It will be your word against a rather incriminating situation. Releasing a turtle that is a pet or that has been in your care (I can't recall the exact time/days), even if it is a native/invasive species to that area is not legal. The only legal way to relocate, as you wish to do, would be to go through a wildlife rehabber and let them release it.

Also, since you don't seem to know much about turtles don't be tempted to keep this little guy! (even if it is cute) Turtles are hard work and initial and proper set up for an aquatic species is expensive. If you ever decide to venture into turtle keeping there are always turtles that need adopting.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Well she has been released into the preserve. She took right to the water and it's a great location so I hope all will be good.
post #4 of 8
Yea for you. A stream enviroment was much better.
post #5 of 8
strange_wings is right. It is not ok to release this lil guy else where. They have a set territory that they are used to and if you move him he will die. The good thing about the fact that turtles stick to one area is that it helps control the spread of disease.

EDIT: just noticed you did choose ot release him elsewhere. I hope he does ok.
post #6 of 8
^I didn't know we had a licensed rehabber around here (that or I saw your sig before and forgot -oops). I'm glad she didn't get caught relocating it.

Chances are, though, as invasive as that species is that it should be ok. Definitely not something you'd do with a terrestrial species, snappers, or some of the more threated ones - like wood, spotted, or diamonds.
post #7 of 8
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
^I didn't know we had a licensed rehabber around here (that or I saw your sig before and forgot -oops).
lol yep one of the few the proud and the pooped on keeps me from being able to post to much!

good luck lil turtle!
post #8 of 8
He's beautiful - I hope he does well over there.

In Israel, you can call the wildlife authorities and they send a supervisor (our version of a ranger) over to your place to take the critter. They take them to a wildlife hospital if necessary, or else they relocate them properly. It's a very good service - they have some pretty amazing release stories too. We've only every called them once for this guy:
(Scroll down, it's not the bug in the first picture )
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