Be kind to the turtles – and other wildlife! – during the Apple Festival

Just a reminder….


The annual Apple Festival is almost upon us and, with it, a lot of half-eaten apples, apple pies, apple fritters, and fast-food leftovers that sometimes become “food litter” on our roads. Food litter is a major attractive danger for all sorts of Gilmer wildlife, and not just box turtles. The scent of food draws in the mice, rabbits, box turtles, and other small animals. These animals are often crushed in the road by automobiles. Those animal remains then attract raccoons, opossums, and other scavengers which consume the remains and the food litter. Vultures and crows even get in on the act. All of these guys are likely to be hit by cars, too. Automobiles aren’t the only threat to the small animals. Hawks and owls are also drawn to hunt the smaller critters in the road. Both hawks and owls are so single-minded about hunting that they will often accidentally either fly into a car or roadside fences. All of this turns into a lot of suffering for Gilmer wildlife. Let’s protect our flora and fauna by encouraging visitors to properly dispose of food litter.