Why Did The Turtle Cross The Road

I found a turtle in the road on its back, on busy Main Street between Hyannis and Osterville on the way to the radio station on Monday morning. When I first drove past it I thought it was a dead possum or something with rigor mortis, with it legs sticking up stiff. It looked so odd though, so I had to go back and I made a U-turn. Pulled over with my hazards on, and caused a traffic jam. No one else jumped out to help. But that's ok. I didn't wanna touch it at first, because I used to - until this incident - think that turtles were gross and creepy. I saw it was still alive, it was moving its mouth, so I ran back to my car to find a stick, the only thing I had was an Irish shillelagh [walking stick]! I gently poked it but it was so big that I realized I was gonna have to touch it to flip it over [which sadly revealed a pool of blood]. There was a crack/gash in its shell. Poor thing! I picked it up and put it over on the grass by the guardrail. Cape Wildlife Center doesn't open til 9 and it was 8:40 - and the last time I called them about a hurt seagull they told me I'd have to bring it to them, since they don't do pickups. I hesitated for a minute and considered bringing the turtle in but I didn't have anything to wrap it in or a bag or box to hold it. I really felt bad leaving it there but I called them and left a message. When they opened, Mary called me back and told me to call the town Dept of Natural Resources, and the town would then go get it and bring it to them. So I called and spoke to the town DNR guy Chris, who told me he'd just gotten off the phone with someone else who found an injured turtle, and that the caller was bringing it straight over to CWC. But he couldn't be certain it is the same turtle, since the caller didn't say where they had found it. I gave him the turtle’s location he said he’d go look. When I called back CWS later, it turns out it was a different turtle got dropped off, from Mattapoisett - so definitely not my turtle. :( Anyway, I wanted to share this story because the CWC and DNR do really good work, helping injured wildlife. I hope my little guy at least got to die in peace in the grass closer to his home. Out of respect for him, I didn't take any pictures or video, so here's my illustration of how he looked when I found him. BTW it never crossed my mind that he might have been a SNAPPING turtle, and that he could have snapped at me, as he was in distress. He seemed very calm though.


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