"Animal services workers take the turtle out of its safe haven in the garbage can."
October 1, 2010 7:07 PM   Subscribe

Turtle rescued on Dartmouth street and taken to Hope for Wildlife.

(Sorry about the plug for the random business on Skeena Street - I couldn't figure out how to get Google to not show it.)
posted by joannemerriam (18 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
hmmmm.... About ten times a year I stop my car and move some stupid turtle out of the road, where the heck is the press when I'M being a Hero?

But, the statement...""I never seen anything that big before," makes me wonder just how big his car is?
posted by HuronBob at 7:17 PM on October 1, 2010 [3 favorites]

Good for you, HuronBob, for moving the turtles. I'm always so sad when I see one that's been hit.
posted by HopperFan at 7:19 PM on October 1, 2010

It's not that the turtles are so big here in Nova Scotia, it's that we drive very small cars.
posted by fish tick at 7:48 PM on October 1, 2010 [2 favorites]

When I lived in the rural part of RI (yes, there is such a thing), I had a snapping turtle the diameter of an old truck tire in our yard. It was like a huge sandcastle made of leather with an alligator tail and a dinosaur beak. I fucked with it, until it bit the tree-branch I was poking it with in half. Big, thick three branch. Don't think finger, think wrist. Nope, didn't fuck with it again.

Early autumn, the big, old ones travel about, looking for a comfy new pond to hibernate in. In the spring, the little ones clamber out of the thawed ponds and look for someplace where there are fewer big, old ones cramping their style:

Jogger in too-short shorts and utterly inadequate sports bra - "What is it?"
Big nerd in hawaiian shirt - "Snapping turtle. Looks like a young one."
Jogger - "Aren't they dangerous?"
Nerd - "Yup. Hand me that stick."
Jogger - "OK. Why?"
Nerd - "I'ma gonna poke at it."
Jogger - "It bit it! It bit the stick! Wow! Now what?"
Nerd - "I'ma gonna drag it to the side of the road so it don't get made into road pizza."
Jogger - "K. Bye!"

Damn, I'm smooth.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:25 PM on October 1, 2010 [2 favorites]

Where the fuck was Tom Joad on this one?
posted by mannequito at 9:16 PM on October 1, 2010

Yesterday the car behind me hit a turtle (right after I carefully slowed down, swerved to avoid it, and beeped my horn in warning at the car coming up in the opposite lane). I was really upset. There's really nothing that gets to me more than runover turtles. Theodore Roethke captured this peculiar sense of despair when he ended his poem "The Meadow Mouse" with

I think of the nestling fallen into the deep grass,
The turtle gasping in the dusty rubble of the highway,
The paralytic stunned in the tub, and the water rising,--
All things innocent, hapless, forsaken.

Thanks for this tale of a turtle's rescue. Everyone, when you're driving, please watch out for turtles. They often show up on roads after heavy rains.
posted by duvatney at 9:32 PM on October 1, 2010 [3 favorites]

I lived in Dartmouth for 10 years and in Halifax (the city on the other side of the harbour) for another 10, and I have never seen a snapping turtle in my life. I'm really curious if there were a bunch of them about and they're just good at hiding or what. Wikipedia says only nesting females generally venture onto land.
posted by joannemerriam at 9:58 PM on October 1, 2010

Snapping turtles can make good, loyal pets if you handle them a LOT from the time they're hatchlings. Otherwise, they're pretty much the angriest animals on the planet, and they can bite your digits clean off.
posted by 1adam12 at 10:24 PM on October 1, 2010

Hobson said the closest water source is a pond more than three blocks away.

"I don't know how it could survive around here," he said.

Um, turtles (tortoises to us pedants) breathe air and walk on land, so, um, duh? Three blocks wouldn't take any more than half an hour for even a little guy. I live in an area where the closest body of water is a creek at the bottom of a steep ravine across a busy street a block away. I've spotted turtles on my lawn, always walking away from the ravine. They seem to know what they're doing.

I don't know much about turtle behaviour, but I'd imagine they'd have to go off to find greener pastures once their backyard gets too crowded.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:38 PM on October 1, 2010

I've been known to move a few turtles, but in the Urban Dictionary sense.
posted by sourwookie at 11:40 PM on October 1, 2010 [2 favorites]

Re: Hope for Animals. My dad is in construction and a few years back he was doing some work at the vet where Hope Swinimer was working. She invited him and his family to come to her home and "compound" for lack of a better word to see all the animals. It was like LOLcats on steroids. Baby-every-type-of-animal you can imagine. Baby ducks, baby raccoons, baby deer.

Hope is famous in Nova Scotia for her battle with the provincial government over an endangered pine martin. All of her animals are in the barns and buildings, except the martin that survived. She took us in the home and this weasel-like creature was zooming around the walls and ceilings. We watched in amazement for a few moments until it shot up my mom's dress and then there was much scrambling as Hope and my dad went after the creature.

At the time i thought, this woman needs a tv show about her life. Someone must have agreed with me.

Then again, I worked for a time at a store in the arctic and I said the same thing about guys delivering our freight.
posted by Brodiggitty at 3:47 AM on October 2, 2010

I like turtles
posted by kcds at 4:33 AM on October 2, 2010

We rescued a big snapper out of our road, at least half a mile from the river. Same deal, pushed it into a garbage can, drove it down to the river, dumped it in. It swam away. Helpful hint: never try to pick up a snapper, their long neck can twist around and get your arm or take off a finger,

Snappers are water turtles, although they can walk (awkwardly) on land. tortoises do not live in the water, like box turtles. I've rescued a few of them out of the road too.
posted by mermayd at 5:15 AM on October 2, 2010

We used to have an in-ground pool in our back yard. For the last few years before we filled it in, it developed into a pond (yes, I used mosquito dunks) that was host to this beauty. It would arrive in early June and eat up most of the tadpoles, then live on the remaining frogs until September, when it went elsewhere to hibernate.

It tolerated me, and even developed enough trust to allow me to hand-feed it (by which I mean the food was on a stick in my hand).

The pool was enclosed by a five-foot-high chain link fence, and I couldn't figure out how the turtle got in every year until I caught it in the act. After that I began watching for its appearance each spring so I could open the gate and usher it in.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:41 AM on October 2, 2010 [28 favorites]

I love Turtles
posted by stevil at 8:31 AM on October 2, 2010

On Lake Erie's north shore, there's a place called Long Point which has some protected biosphere (with a road running thru it)

Turtles routinely cross it, the number that get hit is disheartening, but the locals are getting better about it.

Once I stopped and helped a turtle about the size of an army helmet across. I had leather workgloves... good thing. I picked it up by the sides of the shell, and it does this sweep with both front and rear legs that could have scratched me if it wasn't for the gloves.

Turtle-rescuers of the world - always carry workgloves!
posted by Artful Codger at 8:56 AM on October 2, 2010

posted by steef at 5:32 PM on October 2, 2010 [2 favorites]

This is so crazy. I grew up in Dartmouth and never knew that snapping turtles lived in NS. I only learned how to deal with them since I moved south so kudos to the people who managed to rescue him/her without losing a finger.
posted by hydrobatidae at 8:54 AM on October 4, 2010

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