No turtles don’t get rabies, but I bet that got your attention!
Summer is here and this is rabies season. There could be a rabid skunk, fox, or dog in your area.
N. C. law states that all dog, cats, ferrets, etc. over 4 months old must be vaccinated for rabies. The first shot lasts one year, the second is good for three years. Some Vets will still do rabies shots without charging for an office visit. Really nice of them to do that.
On to turtles. Just this Sunday morning on the way to church, we saw three small turtles in the middle of the road. I know, I said before we shouldn’t bother with what seems to be a lost animal. This is one time we really can help.
Almost all turtles you will see on the road are Eastern Box Turtles. They are pretty and harmless. They seem to be declining in population according to the web site herpsofnc.org.
To help one, first be safe. Signal, and pull safely off the road. Watch for other cars. If you are afraid to pick this Box Turtle up, you could use a newspaper or car floor mat to slide it off the highway. Always move them to the side of the road they were heading for.
If you see a turtle bigger than a saucer, it is probably a Snapping Turtle or “Cooter”, as they are known around here. Don’t go too near it. They are called Snapping Turtles for a reason. Try to move it with a really long stick. It might bite the stick, in which case you can carry it to safety that way. Never try to pick any of them up by their tail. Don’t
take it home with you. It will be unhappy out of it’s home range. That wouldn’t be kind at all.
Be helpful, but be safe!
If you have any questions please call 704-888-4637.