We welcomed an interesting new resident to Polar Spring on Saturday. Things often get a bit crazy towards noon with people showing up for tours. This past Saturday was like that, but one woman was there to drop someone off rather than go on a tour.
She told me parts of how she came to have Ranger, the cute little box turtle she was bringing to the sanctuary. A friend had found Ranger on the side of the road and (I believe) noticed that she was missing a foot. I’m not sure what prompted a removal type rescue – perhaps it was a new injury, or perhaps the rescuer wasn’t sure how best to rescue a turtle. Whatever the case, Ranger came to live with them for about a year.
And then for reasons I either didn’t hear or don’t remember, Ranger came to live with this other woman. I think she had Ranger for only a few months before she started feeling bad about having a box turtle in a cage. She would give her outside time and saw how happy she was. She knew of Poplar Spring because she comes every year to the Open House in the fall, and so she contacted Terry.
I feel pretty lucky that I got to witness Ranger being introduced to her new home. There is a quiet little stream, which isn’t much more than a trickle of water, but it is a perfect area in the woods for a box turtle. Other box turtles have been released there in the past, and Terry would periodically see them for years afterwards, so it is known to be a good spot.
She did a little exploring and while I don’t know turtles that well, I would swear that her personality was shining right through the leaves and dappled sunlight. She didn’t seem hampered at all by her three footedness – there was a little less traction from the footless stump, and you could see that there was some impact to her movements, but it certainly didn’t stop her.
The woman who had brought Ranger to live at Poplar Spring was so happy. Sad, in the sense that she’d miss Ranger in her life, but incredibly happy because she knew she was doing the right thing for Ranger. She was greatly cheered by the thought of coming to visit Ranger (or at least look for Ranger) on some other visits to the sanctuary.
Myself, I’ll be taking little breaks on Saturdays to see if I can spot Ranger. There’s just something about that little face, I hope I get to see her again.
I am never quite sure what to do when rescuing turtles. I mean, obviously, get them out of the road. But why did they go to the road, and do I know which side they were trying to get to, and if I don’t figure it out correctly, am I really helping them? I do my best, but they’re not always pointed in one direction or another. I don’t know much about turtles. I googled to do a bit of research for this post, and found some good stories and good information. If anyone has turtle rescuing hints, please pass them on!