The Block Island Times

Drive carefully!

Be on the lookout for turtles and other wildlife
By Annie Kurz | Jun 12, 2013
Photo by: Annie Kurz A fatally injured snapping turtle was found along the side of Corn Neck Road recently.

Ed. Note: The following note came in from reader Annie Kurz, which reminds us that the appeal of Block Island is not only our physical landscape but also the diverse and beautiful wildlife that inhabit the island. We remind our readers, and ourselves, to drive safely and at the speed limit. It’s the best way to keep everyone safe.

As I drove south along  Corn Neck Road on May 25 to deliver some of my thinned-out daffodil bulbs for selling at the Library’s fundraising  sale, something on the side  of the road caught my attention  and I pulled over to see a really hefty snapping  turtle. As I approached it very cautiously to photograph it, another driver stopped.

My friend Jens came and said we ought to measure it (and that I ought to bring  the photos directly to The Block Island Times). A third person, Nancy,  headed to the library, also stopped to look.

The turtle had wounds on its head and made all of us speculate that it had been hit by a car; the head atypically rested on the ground. Jens noticed that there were drag marks in the wet road from its center to the grassy side where it lay. When I first tried to lift the face with twigs for a better shot, the turtle opened its mouth but lay unmoving afterward.

I got the small tape measure out of my purse  and asked Jens, as I caught it on camera, to hold it over the turtle. He cautiously did so and announced the turtle  was roughly 20 inches long. It looked longer to me  but my photos did not show the tape measure clearly  enough to prove or disprove my impression.

By this time, a fourth person arrived and opined that  the turtle might be better off dying in the shrubs; I said  it probably felt so awful that moving it would add to its suffering. I offered Nancy a lift into town and we went off in the rain.

On my return, the turtle was no longer on the side of the road. I am no great fan of snapping  turtles, but I can only hope that whoever  moved it did not simply pick it up by its tail and hurl it over the stone wall into the bushes.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Mark Koch | Jun 12, 2013 13:18

People please be very careful around snapping  turtles.  Their mouth can reach all the way round to their tails and when they bite down they don't release until their pray is dead.

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