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Turtle question

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
DH is an avid turtle rescuer. We don't know much about turtles except the ones he rescues are mostly land turtles, with an occasional snapping turtle thrown in the mix. If he sees one trying to cross the road, he pulls over and moves it out of harm's way. We've brought a few home with us and turned them loose in the woods across the street. It's a nice place because it's safe from traffic and has a water source. Recently someone told us that you shouldn't move a turtle away from the area where you found it, because it will die trying to get back to that location. Does anyone know if this is true?
post #2 of 15
Absolutely true, they do have a homing instinct. Best just to move them to the side of the road they were heading to and say a little prayer that what is over there brings good things!

Leslie
post #3 of 15
It is true. And like Jack31 said, it is better to just help physically move them to the side that they were heading towards.
post #4 of 15
You have a turtle rescuer too??

Mine is insane!! Our poor friends had a turtle tank with two tiny baby painted and he brought them a half-grown adult to share their tank (uh, thanks...) . I think they still have all three actually.

DH is completely insane about the turtles!! Don't get me wrong I'm an animal lover too, but not to the point of stopping on the side of the rural highway to help them across - I like to think of it more like natural selection is taking out the slow ones .

We had an article in the paper recently actually suggesting people stop & help them across the road. We live in a very swampy area so they are going to breed. The article also recommended keeping a shovel in your truck to pick up the snappers. If you move them across the road they aren't going to come back for quite a while & theoretically that will be after they have done the deed and laid their eggs.

Glad to know my hubby isn't the only one who is completely nuts about the freaking turtles, maybe it's a guy thing? (It is undeniably sweet though )
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nes View Post
You have a turtle rescuer too??


DH is completely insane about the turtles!! Don't get me wrong I'm an animal lover too, but not to the point of stopping on the side of the rural highway to help them across - I like to think of it more like natural selection is taking out the slow ones .
Lol, I think they're all the slow ones.

Thank you all so much for the information. I had no idea turtle's had a territory until I was talking to this turtle person's mom last weekend. I wasn't sure if it was true. But I trust the advice of TCS members. And here we thought we were doing them a favor by bringing them home.

Though DH is the primary turtle rescuer, I participate sometimes. But from now on, we will just move them to the other side of the road.
post #6 of 15
Either way, kudos to you and your husband for thinking of the turtles.

I love turtles (I had some of my own...still have one left) and if we had them here crossing the roads, I would do the same thing. They're animals and just can't understand/know the dangers of the road - they totally deserve our help.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KatGoddess View Post
Either way, kudos to you and your husband for thinking of the turtles.

I love turtles (I had some of my own...still have one left) and if we had them here crossing the roads, I would do the same thing. They're animals and just can't understand/know the dangers of the road - they totally deserve our help.
Thanks, that's very kind of you to say. I've always admired DH's devotion to helping them.
post #8 of 15
my dad has done this once or twice, he has also pulled over to direct traffic when ducks are crossing the road

I also saw a lady trying to help a snapper get off the road, it wasn't going very well
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by KatGoddess View Post
They're animals and just can't understand/know the dangers of the road - they totally deserve our help.
They understand to some degree, it's just that a turtle's response to immediate danger is to pull into their shells. Otherwise if you watch them they move as fast as they can across roads.


BTW there was a question about turtles and territories asked in June http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=198501

If anyone wants turtle information use the search function. There are two large threads with a lot of information and several smaller ones, including some with pictures.


Nes, tell your husband to leave the wild turtles in the wild. Just like with cats and dogs there are turtles that need adopting, and also just like with taking in a new cat you must make sure a new turtle is healthy before you can even let it near other turtles. If he's turtle crazy, make him research, make him plan ahead, and look on pet finder, ask local shelters, and look for herp societies near you.
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
They understand to some degree, it's just that a turtle's response to immediate danger is to pull into their shells. Otherwise if you watch them they move as fast as they can across roads.


BTW there was a question about turtles and territories asked in June http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=198501

If anyone wants turtle information use the search function. There are two large threads with a lot of information and several smaller ones, including some with pictures.
Thank you! DH and I will definitely read it.
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by katiemae1277 View Post
my dad has done this once or twice, he has also pulled over to direct traffic when ducks are crossing the road

I also saw a lady trying to help a snapper get off the road, it wasn't going very well
Your dad is an . My dad once stopped and picked up a rabbit that had been hit on the interstate and was still alive. The rabbit would lift it's head up every time a car approached, unable to move itself out of the road. My dad said he knew it was going to die, but he couldn't stand the thought of it like that, scared and helpless, just waiting until another car came along and hit it. He put it on something soft in the back of his car, and it was dead by the time he got home half an hour later.

I was going to help a huge snapper once, but when we turned around to pick it up, some people were loading it into their car. I'm afraid it might have met a bad end, since quite a few people eat snappers here.
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by nurseangel View Post
I was going to help a huge snapper once, but when we turned around to pick it up, some people were loading it into their car. I'm afraid it might have met a bad end, since quite a few people eat snappers here.
What type of snapper was it? Just a common? If you ever spot someone messing with an alligator snapper you can turn them in. Most states protect them because they are a threatened species.
I'd report someone in a heartbeat for it, too. A lot of the wildlife here, and pretty much the rest of the US, isn't respected as it should be. Too many people are happy to kill whatever crosses their path, no matter what the species.

BTW, if a snapper is fairly good sized be very careful! Forget the risk to fingers, you might hurt your back trying to lift something 100+lbs.
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
Nes, tell your husband to leave the wild turtles in the wild.
Oh I wash my hands completely of that one!! He's never brought another one back after that one he got for our neighbours, I think he gave up when he realized just how many their are around here!

He did try to convince me to build a little turtle pond and let one go in our back yard but I vetoed the idea because of salmonella & a toddler who doesn't understand No (well he understands it, obeying it... thats another thing). When we move to a bigger home we'll be building a nice pond with a natural turtle habitat so that they will voluntarily come to live in our backyard .

It was just so darn cute when he brought that turtle home in his lunch box all proud (I bleached the CRAP out of it after and threw away the liner btw...) of the turtle he "rescued" I didn't have the heart to tell him he shouldn't have brought her in.
post #14 of 15
^While babies and young children are more at risk for salmonella it isn't some big boogyman that will come and get you all. I know media, and even doctors, try to make it out that way and say terrible things about reptiles as pets - when contamination from uncooked meats and eggs to other foods and surfaces is the most common way to get salmonella.

Bleach will kill most bacteria, molds, and viruses. Washing hands removes a lot so that it's at safer levels.


If you do decide on a pond you could build a small fence around it to keep turtles in (kids out) and adopt some. Red eared sliders tend to overrun rescuers because so many people don't want them once they're no longer a cute little turtle.
However, if you decide to make a pond it can't be a completely natural type one. Turtles poop a lot... and always in the water, so it needs to be something that can be cleaned out and needs heavy filtering. But if you do it right it would look awesome in your yard.

If you prefer box turtles than any pond must be shallow or "box turtle proofed". They can swim if needed, but aren't the best of swimmers and tire out from it. They tend to be a bit more "hands on" if you want a turtle you can interact with.
It could be a great family pet when your child is a little older - children can learn a lot from growing up with reptiles as family pets.
post #15 of 15
I hadn't really thought about adopting turtles, I was just going to let come what may, but that is a great idea!

I know salmonella is not the boogy man, but I also know I have to chase my son around the garden or he's stuffing wads of dirt in his mouth and chewing on rocks (which he still does). I just don't think toddlers & loose turtles would mix well, I doubt I could keep him from patting the turtle & getting bit or shoving his fingers into his mouth.

Actually I keep trying to encourage my brother to get another bearded dragon (his died a few years ago unexpectedly) she was such a sweet pet! He's not in a good place to get one right now but I keep telling him we'll just "babysit" for awhile till he's ready to take her back
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