Update – April 1 2017 – The Ontario provincial government permanently banned the hunting of snapping turtles today. A small gesture I realize, but it’s something I suppose.
We were walking up the road toward the old railway berm on the Trout Ponds Trail. As we crossed the bridge, an interesting stone caught my eye. It kinda looked like that character “Gru” from the “Despicable Me” movies. On closer examination it turned into a muddy, freshly hatched, little tiny snapping turtle.
I picked it up (yes very carefully) and as I carried it to the river, we began to see what remained of his siblings. There are now 6 less snapping turtles in the World I’m afraid. Mama chose a terrible location for a nest. The bridge had a curb which the hatchlings had fallen over onto the road. Even if they could’ve made it to the other side, they were too small to breach the other curb. We climbed down the bank and released it into the water. It immediately hid under some leaves on the bottom. We found another live one and transported it to the river as well. Upon returning from our walk, we found a third one, and gave it a lift to the river as well. It made the Wife feel better as she felt terrible since we found 4 dead adult turtles on another road back on June 11th.
No I’m not gonna get preachy about it. I was on foot, and I’m a highly experienced wildlife observer, and I almost stepped right over them, so I can hardly expect a driver to see them. I’m referring to the hatchlings of course, ‘cause only a GD A-Hole would run over an adult turtle. Even an idiot would have to consider the potential damage such action could bring to his vehicle’s suspension. Oh … yeah … that’s getting kinda preachy isn’t it ? Sorry, never mind.
In the past, I’ve watched turtles digging their nests on roadsides. After the incident in June, I wondered, what if we dug out a trench between a wetland and the road ? Fill it with the same stuff the shoulder of the road is made of, and see if the turtles will use it. This is the kind of stuff I think about. The Wife and I have been casually searching for some land to try these theories on, raise rare plants for seed stock distribution, provide a sanctuary for wildlife, stuff like that. However, it’s very hard to find just land for sale. Most are 1 – 2 acre building lots at best, and we’d need more than that. The other side of the coin has acreages in the 100’s with price tags to match. As well, they’re usually currently farmland. We’d need a mixture of meadow, forest, wetland, open water etc. That’s asking far too much in Southern Ontario. ‘Course I could win the lottery, but as the Wife reminds me “Ya can’t win if ya don’t play”. Oh well, maybe someday. Mind you I’m not getting any younger, so someday had better get it’s butt in gear.