Wood Turtle in the Bus

Earlier this month we processed our first wood turtle intake of 2021. While not yet on the threatened species list, wood turtles are of special concern in New York due to their declining numbers.

wood turtle shown from front with head tucked in, eyes swollen, metal tape and white cream on shell

Wood turtles are semi-aquatic and live in streams in woodland areas. They are the only freshwater turtle native to the Adirondacks that can eat out of the water, and will forage for berries, mushrooms, slugs, and worms in the woods. Although the woods is their preferred habitat, wood turtles get their name from their rich brown carapace, which has rings that look like wood grain. Their necks and legs sport bright orange patches.

Our wood turtle patient survived getting hit by a car and, luckily, avoided a broken spine and a skull fracture. We suspected both during our intial examination, but x-rays at the vet showed that was not the case. Her carapace crack is stable and healing. We are also treating an eye infection that has so far kept her eyes swollen closed, but we are hopeful it will resolve with time.

The wood turtle will be wintering over with us, along with a number of painted turtles and snapping turtles. Our supply needs are double what they were last winter. You can help us give these turtles a safe place to heal with donations from our Amazon Wish List. Thank you!