Bondi Resort Blog

Come on into our Blog for a look at the wonderful world we've got to share! With over 240 hectares (600 acres) of wilderness woodlands surrounding the resort, just ten minutes from Algonquin Park, we feature over 400 metres (1200’) of waterfront and beach; boat rentals; summer hiking trails winding through fields and woods; 20 km. of groomed cross country ski trails and snowshoeing in winter; access to nearby snowmobile trails for sledders, and a toboggan hill for the young at heart.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

How to Move a Snapping Turtle

Look into this snapping turtle's eyes. You are looking at a creature that swam with the dinosaurs. Not this particular turtle, perhaps, but the design has remained unchanged for eons.

This time of year, turtles are everywhere, as the females leave the lakes looking for a nice sandy place to lay their eggs.

Mark found this one near his cottage.  David, Sarah and Mike all came over to help relocate the turtle back to the lake -- the direction in which she was heading when she was found.

Sarah took this photos, and they are incredible. Look at the nails on the feet, the pointed beak on the mouth.  Note also that Dave is wearing heavy gloves, and is holding the turtle carefully by the carapace  and well to the back of the shell. This turtle was very co-operative -- a better way, should you encounter one and need to move it, is to take hold of the very base of the heavy tail, and slide your other hand under the turtle's belly -- like lifting a pizza.  Here's a video that shows you how!

  That head can snake around remarkably fast, and the turtle's jaws are well capable of removing a careless finger.  Most turtle species are really easy to move -- just pick them up. The snapper is another story.  They are quite terrified of people when they are on land, and being unable to retreat inside their shells, they feel very threatened and vulnerable.  With their long neck, they can actually reach all the way back to their hind feet, and over the top of their shell well past the mid-point.  You probably don't want your hands in that zone... Like any animal put in a position like that, they will try to defend themselves.

The rescue mission: Dave, Mike and Mark.
A female snapping turtle is 20 years old before she can lay eggs in soft sandy soil. The snapper lays its eggs in the summer in soft earth or in sand on sandy beaches, railroads and road beds. There are usually from 20 to 30 eggs in a clutch, although as many as 80 have been recorded. Hatching usually occurs in late August or September.  Snapping turtles can lay 30 eggs a year for 30 years.  By helping rescue one that is on the highway, you may have helped 900 future turtles.

The Muskoka Wildlife Centre has two young snappers... Junior and Sam. Stop in and visit them.  They've also got some amazing facts about snappers, you can find at their link here.

This turtle was helped back to the lake...  once in her own element, she was very happy.  Turtles pose no threat to swimmers, and they are truly extraordinary creatures, so remember, this turtle season, GIVE TURTLES A BRAKE.  And if you need to assist one across a highway, please be careful, both for yourself and the turtle!

No comments:

Post a Comment