While I was on my home the other day, I called Mrs. Poolman, as I usually do to see if she needed anything picked up at the store on my way home. It was her off day. When she answered the phone, she said.
“You need to hurry home. There is a giant turtle in the street in front of our house.”
Writer Princess was over for a visit and took this photo with her cell phone.
My first thought that it might be an alligator snapping turtle. We had one in our pool a few years ago and that was quite an experience getting rid of him. They are big and they are mean.
When I asked her to describe him, she was only able to come up with attributes like, “big” and “has a shell.” As Mrs. P said, “He’s a turtle. What do you expect out of me?”
When I got home, I found this guy had apparently crawled up over the curb and was up against my house, behind the bushes. It turns out he is a “common snapping turtle.” He didn’t look very good. He was very lethargic. (Then again, how energetic are turtles? I don’t know.) And his eyes were very rheumy looking. He didn’t try to bite me. He stayed out of his shell and tried to climb out of the cardboard box in which I put him.
We put a plastic crate over the top of the box to keep him in and drove him down the street a few blocks to a small patch of woods with a small stream. (Mrs. P drove, because when I asked her to sit in the back seat and keep Mr. Turtle from escaping from the box, she looked at me like I was a creature from outer space.)
We released him in the woods. He didn’t look very good, but we did our part to protect nature. The rest is up to him. Good luck, Mr. Turtle.