The return of ABJ!

He’s back!

Back and looking healthier!

Some of you may recall ABJ, who we found in August, 2015. He was a big male with what appeared to be a bigger problem –

That was one really ugly leg!

His left leg was so swollen that he was unable to withdraw it into his shell. That problem, in turn, prevented him from shutting his shell to protect his head and front limbs. The swelling and absence of at least two toes indicated a serious infection. It wasn’t a promising situation. It was hard to imagine that he’d survive the winter if he were very ill and incapable of shielding his head and forelegs from predators while he brumated. 

We’re now pleased to report that he turned up last night, and his leg is looking much better! He has a little weight loss. That may actually be due to the reduced swelling. The healing abilities of these little guys is remarkable. He was only about 90 feet from where he was found in 2015. He was weighed, measured, and sent back on his way. Good luck, ABJ! 

Slow September follows a quiet August

Not much turtle goodness at all in the past couple of months. This guy –

Our first – and perhaps only – turtle in September

Popped up on September 11, in the morning after two waves of thundershowers passed through in the preceding evening. Indeed, we haven’t found a live turtle since July although we had a report of one. We did encounter one dead one that was too crushed to identify. 

We suspect there may be several reasons for the slow-down. The turtles may be traveling less if their focus has shifted from reproduction to building fat stores for winter. The drought may have forced them to remain within the refuge of creek bottoms, where water is easily found, instead of moving to higher ground where they might be seen on roads. They’re all questions that we want to explore in coming years. Meanwhile, we’ll enjoy pondering over the answers while we move these guys off the road.