On your travels in my beloved marshy homeland, please be mindful that it is mating season for aquatic turtles right now, and that they will be crossing the roads, particularly the causeways out to the barrier islands. The bay behind Sea isle City has a ton of diamondback terrapins, so be especially careful there. Any injured turtles should be taken to the Wetlands Institute, which is also on the causeway to Sea Isle City.
One final thing: snapping turtles are everywhere right now, too. Now, most people don’t know how amazing these beasties are: they’ve existed in their current for for the past 200 million years (we’ve only been around 3.5 million), and are the ancestor of 80% of all turtle species. They are also delicious with sherry.
After the jump, Whimsy advises on how best to handle a snapping turtle. The more you know!
But more important, most people don’t know how to carry them off the road without running the risk of losing a finger. Being a muck-toe from Somers Point, I’ve handled them since I was a boy, so in the hopes that those out there of good will and stout heart might do the right thing should they see one attempt to cross a four-lane road, here’s how you do it: get behind the nasty little bugger. Grab her by the base of her tail, mindful of its head, which is surprisingly long and fast. Lift it off the road, making sure that its plastron (belly) is facing your leg. Plop her down, and that’s it. Please make sure to carry them towards the direction they were heading, else we condemn them to a cruel brand of double jeopardy. They will turn around to reach their destination.
Some of the larger ones can be especially aggressive and have a wider strike range, so be especially careful with them. Good luck.