In my 5+ years of commuting via bike through Prospect Park, I have often seen (and have even been called to help with) mother turtles either going to or coming from laying eggs. I specifically left for work early today so I could hopefully photograph the turtles of Prospect Park, Brooklyn. Prospect Park has in all of its waters, the popular pet and invasive, red eared sliders, which are highly visible and also nesting. I was hoping to see a common snapping turtle, and I did! I escorted her along and had some wonderful chances to teach people about her and her kind while doing so - enjoy her adventure below:
|This girl has already crossed one pedestrian path and is just about to cross the bridle path here. She is still freshly covered in duckweed.|
|Just about there!|
|She tried digging in a few spots but the soil was so compacted. I love turtles, and I don't see any ugliness. But the more I sat and watched, I felt like I was being transported back in time. Turtles and their kin have survived on earth for the last 200 million years, and we are finding even further back than that too!|
|Attempting to dig with her rear legs, to no avail.|
|Her first dig site attempt, can you find her?|
|With that leaf on her back, I personally see a stegosaurus...|
|Onto pedestrian Path #2, now moving closer to Prospect Park West... and my bike.|
|Why go around when you can just go under?|
I did have to leave the turtle after observing it for an hour - I had to be at work! To ensure safety of the turtle and park goers, I made sure to contact people who could help. A huge thank you to my friend Mary Beth and her friend Marty, who went to look for and provide safety to this animal.
If you ever are on the road and see a turtle crossing, help when it is safe, because you are not going to be helpful if you too get hurt, don't ever put yourself in danger- call the professionals! Always help the turtle in the direction it is going, they are tenacious and on a mission to go in the direction they are headed, to bring them backwards will mean they will turn around to head back in the way they were originally headed. If you don't know what to do, contact your local animal rescue or wildlife rehabilitators, they will know what to do or provide you with guidance.
If you would like to observe nesting turtles, they are most active in the early morning, but remember to mind your distance so the turtles can do what comes naturally! Happy Herping!