Eastern Box Turtle
We were on our way to school this morning and there in the beginnings trying to cross what would be a very busy road in about 15 minutes was an Eastern Box Turtle. "We have to help it, we can't leave it mommy!" pleaded Little J. He was right, I couldn't just leave it there to probably become road kill. So, I stopped and picked it up planning to place it in the direction it was heading, but then there were pleas of, "Please can't we just keep it for a day and then let him go, please, please. I want to study him." He knows how to sucker me!
From the color of its eyes and the shape of its shell, we determine it is a female turtle.
So, in the car it came. I put it in a box with a little bowl of water and some veggies. Little J came home and I helped him do an intranet search click here for a good site. It seems we have a female, eastern box turtle. It will spend the day on observation in his classroom tomorrow and then be returned to where we found her on the side she was heading. I was just going to let her go in a nearby stream, but thanks to Little J's research we know that turtles have a homing instinct and it needs to be returned from where we found her. Otherwise, she will most likely try to get back there on her own and become injured along the way. We've tried not to touch or disturb her as much as possible. We've washed our hands well before and after holding her.