Sunday, April 12, 2009

What I Got for Easter!

Some people got Easter baskets. I got a snapping turtle. (There are those that would say this is appropriate.)

I was stopped at a red light on a road under construction (aren't they all?), and out wandered a turtle. I jumped out of the Forester, waved to the folks behind me, snagged the turtle, and popped him in what suffices for a trunk. I noticed he hissed, but I was trying to get back in the car before the light turned green, so I didn't pay much attention to what he looked like.
When I got home, I got him out of the car and put him in my fenced courtyard. At this point, I did notice his claws and his BIG mouth. I hosed him down (for which he seemed reasonably grateful - stuck his head up and drank), and threw him some lettuce, grapes, and banana. He sneered, and I should have realized then that anything with a mouth like that wanted steak and wanted it ASAP. (Be sure to click on this first photo - I intentionally left it large, as this guy has some really interesting architectural details!)
Now I like turtles, but when it comes to identifying them (other than a Florida box turtle), I rely upon Matt and Jim, neither of whom were home. So I researched the critter on-line, verified he was indeed a common snapping turtle, and thanked my lucky stars that I had not lost a finger in this whole adventure. By this time, he had disappeared into the jungle I call landscape, but eventually he came out to pose for photographs. I fixed him a plate of a chopped chicken tender and chopped Spam. He sneered at that, too. He has a big plant saucer of water that he just fits in, but of course he wants deeper water and mud.


Believe me when I tell you he is just as grumpy as he looks. Neighbor John took one look at the photo and said I've never seen such an angry looking, ugly turtle.. Looks like you spray painted him black and beat him with a stick..
Tomorrow, I'll ask Jim to find him a safe home after he gets some photos. Meanwhile, I'm really careful about where I walk in the courtyard.

5 comments:

ChrisC and JonJ said...

Ewwww......

Floridacracker said...

Nice rescue!

Amanda said...

Well at least he is kind of egg shaped. What an adventure!! Are you going to name him something like Sweetie? LOL!!

Amber said...

He's great! Grumpy in an irresistible way, I'm sure. BTW, I would turn my nose up at SPAM too. :-)

ramblingwoods said...

Oh my gosh..you are lucky that is was in slow motion because they are quick and cranky on land. It looks kind of like a male with the longer claws in front which he uses to stroke the female that he is courting. The females have longer claws in back in order to be able to dig their nests. They really do eat mostly vegetation, but will eat anything they can get and on our pond love baby waterfowl....My post is also on snappers...Michelle