The Trouble with Turtles

Holy, crap! What was that in the middle of the road?

I pulled over on the side of Airline Drive in Colonie this morning after nearly running over a huge snapping turtle. By huge I mean its shell was larger in diameter than a good sized dinner plate. Why was it crossing the road? Apparently, to get to the other side.

As a citizen of the great state of New York, I saw it as my duty to remove our official reptile from the road before it was flattened by a careless driver. First let me say that you should be prepared for a fight if you ever decide to pick up a snapping turtle.

I approached it from the rear, grasped it firmly by the sides of the shell, and lifted. The turtle writhed in my hands and tried to twist its head around to bite me.

Wouldn’t that be a fine headline in the TU: “Local man saves turtle, loses finger.”

Snapping turtle in Colonie

By the way, here’s what DEC says about snapping turtles:

These turtles will snap at anything they find threatening. Their snap is so powerful that it can easily shear fingers – so stay a safe distance away!

This is why I need an iPhone, so I can do research before, not after.

Anyway, with the help of a ski pole (yes, I’m aware it’s May) from the back of the car, I guided the turtle to safety.

It’s a good day. The turtle is safe, I’ve got all my fingers, and a number of drivers have a funny story to tell, about how they saw some nut with a ski pole herding a turtle on the way to work.

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