After a long winter of recovery and rehabilitation, 11 Eastern Box Turtles and one Spotted Turtle are preparing for release, in "part two" of the great turtle release of 2014. The Center released three aquatic turtles at the end of April.
Some of these box turtles were recovering from injuries sustained in 2013; several turtles were “kidnapped” and kept as pets before they were brought to the Wildlife Center during the winter. Fortunately, three of these kidnapped turtles can be released again, because we know their location of origin.
By the end of the month, the Center should be free of the releasable 2013 turtles -- just in time to make plenty of room for the incoming 2014 injured turtles.
The “to-be-released” list includes:
Eastern Box Turtle #13-2429. Found in Madison County in September 2013, this turtle had aural [ear] abscesses. Days in treatment: 244+
Eastern Box Turtle #13-2518. This male turtle was found on the road in Augusta County in October 2013. The turtle was likely hit by a vehicle. Days in treatment: 222+
Eastern Box Turtle #13-2574. This turtle was found on a road in Richmond and was referred to the Wildlife Center by a veterinary hospital on November 1. The turtle sustained multiple shell fractures and an injury to its left forelimb. The limb was amputated at the Center. Days in treatment: 203+
Eastern Box Turtle #13-2584. This female turtle was found in Albemarle County in early November 2013. The turtle had multiple shell fractures, as well as an aural [ear] abscess. Days in treatment: 199+
Eastern Box Turtles #13-2620 - 2623. This group of hatchling turtles was accidentally dug up in Albemarle County in early November 2013; the turtles over-wintered at the Center until it was seasonally appropriate for release. Days in treatment: 187+
Eastern Box Turtle #13-2669. Found in Rockingham County in July 2013, this female turtle came to the Wildlife Center in December after several months of not eating. The veterinary team discovered that the turtle had a right leg fracture. Days in treatment: 167+
Eastern Box Turtle #13-2690. This juvenile turtle was referred to the Wildlife Center by a permitted rehabilitator in December 2013. The healthy turtle was kidnapped from the wild, and simply needed a place to overwinter until release was seasonally appropriate. Days in treatment: 157+
Eastern Box Turtle #14-0149. This male turtle was found in Buena Vista in October 2013 and was kept as a pet until it was admitted to the Wildlife Center in March 2014. The turtle is healthy and can be returned to the wild because the point of origin is known. Days in treatment: 73+
While this will certainly free up some reptile enclosures in the Center's Reptile Room, it will by no means mean that the Wildlife Center is free of turtles. One turtle admitted in 2013 is non-releasable and will soon be leaving for her new education home. The veterinary team is also caring for seven turtles that have been admitted in the past three weeks -- many of these turtles were hit by vehicles.
If you see a turtle crossing the road and can safely assist it, please move the turtle across the road in the direction in which they are 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. Their survivability depends on it!