PHOTOS: Turtles crossing Wilbraham Road in Springfield

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A 22News viewer sent photos of two snapping turtles found on Wilbraham Road in Springfield.

The photos sent from Tom, says he rescued two snapping turtles in the area of Watershops Pond that were looking to cross Wilbraham Road. Tom relocated the turtles to the pond off Slater Avenue.

  • turtle in Springfield
  • turtle in Springfield
  • turtle in Springfield

Watershops Pond was drained in October and November with $2.5 million in federal funds to improve the dam and prevent flooding in the future. Springfield Parks Director, Patrick Sullivan said the wildlife is not a concern.

“Any wildlife would be hibernating at the proper time and I think people will see that the environment will improve from this drawdown from any wildlife aspects. We are working with the DEP as we continue this drawdown.”

Information below is provided by Mass.gov:

Turtles are often spotted in the roads from mid-May to early July. They suggest to not risk getting hurt and avoid the turtles, but if the opportunity to safely move a turtle occurs, move it in the direction it was heading to off the edge of the road.

Do not take turtles home or move them to a “better location”

Mass.gov

Turtles that are found on roads, in backyards, and in other unexpected areas are moving about the landscape to reach resources they need, such as nesting areas. Don’t take them to a “better place!” Turtles have strong homing instincts, so if you move one to “better” habitat, it is very likely to try to return home and in the process cross many roads. Where you find them is the area that they are familiar with; they know it intimately because they have grown up in the surrounding area. Moving them also increases the risk of spreading disease to other wild turtles.

Snapping Turtles

Snapping Turtle. Photo by Mike Jones, MassWildlife
Snapping Turtle. Photo by Mike Jones, MassWildlife

The best thing to do is to leave Snapping Turtles alone and they will typically move off within a few hours. Your house may have been built in an area where they had previously been nesting. Many turtles exhibit nest site fidelity where they return to the same location several years in a row. If you must move a Snapping Turtle, use a broom to coax it into a plastic tub or box. This is the best method because Snapping Turtles are fast and have very powerful jaws that can inflict a bad bite. A Snapping Turtle can reach your hands if you lift it by the sides of its shell, but they cannot reach your hand directly under the shell, or at the bridge of the shell. Do not lift them only by the tail; this can injure their spine.

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