Eastern Box Turtle is Out and About ... Again

PATIENT:  Eastern Box Turtle, #10-1539 LOCATION:  Sherando, Augusta County, Virginia CAUSE OF ADMISSION:   Likely hit by car ADMISSION DATE:  July 14 PROGNOSISReleased, August 31 After finding this injured Eastern Box Turtle just miles away from the Wildlife Center, the turtle’s rescuer taped a four-leaf clover to its back — for luck — and rushed it in for treatment.  Center veterinarians examined the turtle and took radiographs, and then cleaned the multiple shell fractures that the turtle sustained.  These fractures were stabilized and repaired with metal bars and epoxy.  In addition to receiving treatment as soon as he arrived at the Wildlife Center, Box Turtle #10-1539 also took a starring role in an "Out and About" segment with Fox 2127's Becky Freemal.  Just six weeks after admission, the bars and epoxy were removed from the turtle's shell.  Since the fracture sites were stable and clean, the turtle spent a few more days living in an outside pen, then was released in the same area in which he was found. It's not uncommon to find turtles crossing the road throughout the summer months, and they will continue to be active throughout the next month.  To help protect turtles, the Wildlife Center recommends the following: * Don’t keep a turtle as a pet.  Some turtle populations, such as the Eastern Box Turtle, are declining.  The removal of one healthy adult can have a significant detrimental impact on the local population.  A female box turtle may lay several hundred eggs over the course of her lifetime – but only two or three will likely reach adulthood. * Watch out for turtles and other wildlife when mowing lawns and doing other yard-work. * Keep domestic animals indoors or on leashes.  Free-roaming dogs and cats injure and kill millions of wild animals each year.  * Assist turtles crossing a road by carrying them across in the direction they’re headed.   Many turtles crossing roads are egg-laden females looking for appropriate nesting sites.   * Do NOT relocate a turtle to a “better place”.  Turtles have small home territories and should be left where they are found. *  Take special care when dealing with a Snapping Turtle.  These turtles may be as much as 19 inches long, weigh up to 35 pounds, have powerful jaws, and a long neck .  To safely handle a large Snapping Turtle, avoid the front half of the turtle’s body.  While wearing gloves, place one hand on the base of the turtle’s tail – to help stabilize and secure the turtle – and slide the other hand halfway under the turtle’s shell.   * If you find an injured turtle, put it in a box and contact the Wildlife Center of Virginia or a permitted wildlife rehabilitator.  Make sure to record details of the rescue location so that the turtle can be returned there once it has healed.  * Always wash your hands with soap and water after handling a turtle. There's no charge to bring an animal to the Wildlife Center for treatment and care.  We rely on the generosity of caring individuals.  Your donation will help support the Center’s life-saving work with about 2,500 wild animals in need.