Mud Lake turtle rescue

by Ian Whyte

IMG_5891arOn 10 September, I attended an OFNC birding outing at Mud Lake. Because I’ve found Snapping Turtle hatchlings trapped on the road by the filtration plant in previous years, I checked that location on my way home. The road in front of the filtration plant can be a death trap for hatchlings because of the curb. Hatchlings that try to cross the road cannot climb over the curb to get to the lake.

I found six hatchlings that day: three headed toward the lake as fast as a hatchling can and three awaiting death on the road – from exhaustion, a car or a Canada Goose. I put two of these at the lake’s edge. One was visible only through binoculars behind the fence (the door to the building was locked so I could not gain access). The next day, I found six more turtles: four were dead on the road, flattened, and two alive ones were set by the lakeside.

So, out of twelve turtles found, four were already dead, one has no future, four were rescued, and three were all right on their own.

IMG_5900arMay I ask that any OFNC member who goes to Mud Lake from now until mid-November please also take a minute to check for trapped hatchlings on the road in front of the filtration plant? The part of the road from the collection of old chairs to the fence across the road in front of the filtration plant is where checking is needed. Please put live turtles at the edge of the lake. I’d appreciate it if you emailed me with the details if you do this: ianrwhyte@gmail.com

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