I’m training (not very well) to ride my bicycle around Lake Michigan later this summer. I spent a good chunk of the winter ordering parts from all over the place to rebuild a beautiful bicycle frame that my brother gave to me. It’s a Teladyne Titan, one of the first titanium frames on the market. I finally have gotten out on the road with the bike a few times. On my most recent ride, I came across what I thought was fresh road kill until the turtle moved. Realizing that he was only minutes from becoming road kill, I circled around to try to figure out how to get this large snapping turtle off the road without having him latch onto one of my body parts.
Just as I get to the side of the road, a family on their way home from a baseball game pulls off too. The 2 boys are pressuring the dad to do something. He and I consult on a plan and we decide that they will take the turtle home with them and insert him into the lake by their house. That beat my plan of flipping him down the embankment into the drainage ditch from which he seemed to have crawled. Clearly that was only delaying his date with road kill by the amount of time it would take him to climb back up, but it’s a turtle. That might have been enough time for him to reconsider his suicidal plan and head in a different direction.
The dad goes to the car and fetches a blanket, which he places on the ground in front of the turtle. I guess he thought it would just hop on for the ride. After pointing out the size of his claws, and the size of his neck, I pulled the blanket close enough for the turtle to attack it. I figured having them all see the chomping power would give them a proper respect. It did. Everyone moved away leaving me to handle the turtle.
Getting him bundled up in the blanket was easy. I hope getting him to the lake at home was a easy for those guys. We all did a good thing. And it felt good to do it.