Snapping turtle in cave

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Snapping turtle in cave

Postby GroundquestMSA » Aug 1, 2011 11:13 am

I found a big turtle in a cave last week. It was about 14" in diameter and in a pool at the bottom of a series of 5'-10' drops. He looked fairly content. I'm wondering now if he'll survive long in there. The water was pretty warm for a cave because of recent rains. I assume he washed in when the water was high. Will it get too cold for him? Will he starve? Does his family miss him? Will he go blind? Should I drive the 200 miles back to rescue him? Should I eat him? Should I train him so that he can carry a camera past the terminal sump of this very interesting cave?
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Re: Snapping turtle in cave

Postby rlboyce » Aug 1, 2011 12:15 pm

LOL...

Coincidentally, I've also found a live turtle at the bottom of perhaps twenty 5-10' drops. This one, however, was only a box turtle. We put him in a pack and took him to the surface. For those who are curious, no, we did not eat him.

Personally, I wouldn't fool with a 14" snapper. Those things are mean, and definitely won't fit in most packs. The ones they do fit in they would probably rip to shreds. The only way this would be feasible is if the turtle was tranquilized beforehand. As tranquilizers are not something most people have access to, the turtle might stay down there for some time. Unfortunately, this may mean a rather bad stench at some point in the future.

You should call animal control and see if they think it's a prank call. : )
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Re: Snapping turtle in cave

Postby self-deleted_user » Aug 1, 2011 12:48 pm

Do you have a veterinarian friend who would have access to tranqs for animals? Or maybe some sort of animal rescue/rehab center would? Then you could get the snapping turtle out. Or just, let ze be. Teach ze how to climb so ze can get out on zir's own? I like the train to carry camera idea :D
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Re: Snapping turtle in cave

Postby GroundquestMSA » Aug 1, 2011 1:16 pm

I think he was already a bit tranquilized by the chill. I am regretting leaving him there now. Think of the fun. Passing him up pitches, pushing him through squeezes. I could have wrapped him up in a sheet with twine and threw him in a sack. That's how the turtle noodling people around here transport their prizes.
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Re: Snapping turtle in cave

Postby rlboyce » Aug 1, 2011 1:21 pm

Hey, it's your fingers, not mine. : )
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Re: Snapping turtle in cave

Postby Squirrel Girl » Aug 1, 2011 2:40 pm

Did someone say "Snapping Turtle"?
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Re: Snapping turtle in cave

Postby rlboyce » Aug 1, 2011 2:48 pm

After seeing the picture above, I have a correction: It's your hands, not mine. :laughing:
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Re: Snapping turtle in cave

Postby Buford » Aug 7, 2011 5:22 pm

I once rescued a snapping turtle from Eicholberger's Cave in FL. It had followed limerock road drainage into the roadside sinkhole entrance and banged and bounced its way about 20 ft down into the entrance room. Boy was it pissed when I picked it up by the tail and carried it with me as I climbed back out of the wet, clayey, vertical slot one-handed. It kept trying pretty hard to bite my leg the whole way up. Ingrate!

But no longer! I am a dutiful biologist who has taken to heart the fact that nearly all the food that troglobites eat will be from detritus and animals that fall into and cannot get back out of the cave. Thus, if a critter falls in, I leave it for the cave to eat.

It is also true that turtles are imperiled due to human development and supping. Sleazeweazel claims that we are, therefore, expected to rescue them from roads and that we do not get positive karma for doing so. Au contraire, we actually get negative karma if we do not rescue them.

You can justify wildlife rescues or not any way you wish. Do what you feel is right. Snapping turtles are not imperiled.
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Re: Snapping turtle in cave

Postby Chads93GT » Aug 7, 2011 9:38 pm

It will die of shell rot eventually due to the lack of vitamin D. Aquatic or not, they will not survive without the sun.
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