Florida Softshell Turtle Rescue

Florida Softshell Turtle Rescue

 

This article and photos were in an April 2014 issue of the TGO paper, The Happenings.  I don’t know the identities of the author or photographer.

 

TGO Nature Center, Nature, The Great Outdoors, Titusville, Florida, Education, TGO, Reptile, Softshell Turtle, Turtle, Photo Album

 

TGO Nature Center, Nature, The Great Outdoors, Titusville, Florida, Education, TGO, Reptile, Softshell Turtle, Turtle, Photo Album

 

This beautiful fellow was found in the Verity’s carport area today. He had gotten himself turned around and stuck in there. They put him on the lawn and pointed him towards the lake across the street thinking that was the direction he meant to go. It took him a bit to decide and he then aimed for the lake and moved quite quickly for a turtle, we thought. He then got himself trapped in the port across the street so while the guys discussed who would pick him up, yours truly picked him up (heavy!! And sharp back claws!) and moved him between the two houses. He then made haste to the pond and dove in. The Florida Softshell turtle typically has a dark brown to olive green, leathery carapace with a white or cream-colored underside. It has a long neck and an elongated head with a long
snorkel-like nose. It is the largest soft-shell turtle in North America, reaching about up to 29 inches in length. The female is larger, with the average male reaching only about 14 in. The female can weigh up to 44 lb, with the record weight documented at 96 lb. The turtle in the Verity’s property was about 14 – 16 inches in length, and probably a female. I don’t think she weighed more than 10 lb.

You will see a lot more turtles of all kinds crossing the roads and getting lost in your porches and garages. It is best to head them in the direction they were going, such as when you pick them up on the road. However, when they get caught in a porch or garage, it is a bit harder to judge. Just do your best. And don’t be
surprised if they are heading out back into your wooded area, many turtles, such as the Florida Softshell, like to swim in calm waters such as our lakes and swamps.

BEWARE OF SNAPPING TURTLES

I do not have a photo of a snapping turtle, but they are also prehistoric looking. However, their head is massive and their tail as long as their carapace. Their neck is very long and they can reach back and give you a nasty bite if you pick them up.

This Florida Softshell Turtle Photo Album link will take you to more photos of this turtle species.

Click on this Snapping Turtles Photo Album link to see photos of Snapping Turtle.

 

TGO Nature Center – “Living in Harmony with Nature

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