A number of New York Turtle & Tortoise Society members met up this past Saturday in Central Park. Purpose: to look for turtles!
We were led by turtle conservationists Pete Warny and Jay Westerveld, who first took us to Turtle Pond, right by the Delacourte Theater.
Jay (at left) and Pete.
It was a beautiful, warm day and dozens of turtles were basking right below the observation deck.
Turtles were also hanging out with a friendly cormorant.
Climbing to the top of Belvedere Castle, which overlooks the pond, we saw even more turtles, mostly red-eared sliders.
From there we walked over to Bethesda Fountain and Central Park Lake and saw turtles galore.
The sad part of the story is that most of these animals are pets that have been abandoned by their owners when they grew too large, or the owners grew tired of caring for them. Still, these are NYC survivors!
Short video here: http://youtu.be/naNKy6uNqLY
The only turtles we saw on our mini-vacation this weekend (aside from a sick turtle we brought with us so we could treat him every day) were at the Minnewaska Wildlife Center as we hiked around the lake. And here they are:
But the real excitement occurred after we’d take about ten steps out of the parking lot. Allen’s cousin had just finished saying, “You know, every time I visit this park I see a snake,” when we saw a juvenile timber rattler crossing the path.
Some park goers wanted to take photos of the snake. Others were scared. I told a man and a woman on bicycles to stop. I didn’t want them running over the snake. From the look on the woman’s face, she didn’t want the snake running over her. But all the snake wanted to do? Just get to the other side of the road.
It finally happened. We had to take a sick turtle on vacation (well, along with us for a weekend away) so that Allen could make sure the turtle got his ointment and nantibiotics.
Here’s Allen, ministering to Bob in our motel. (The fact that Allen’s wearing a Red Cross t-shirt as he applies ointment to Bob’s paw is purely coincidental).
We kept the Do Not Disturb sign on the door so that Housekeeping wouldn’t find Bob in his plastic tub with lid) and freak out. What we do for turtles!
The annual New York Turtle & Tortoise Show was held in June, as always, at the Village Community School in Greenwich Village. And as always, a great time was had by all, including the turtles.
Cats and turtles get along fine at our house.
Turtle plastrons–or turtles’ bottom shells, can be pretty amazing. Take a look at these beautiful patterns and colors.