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Question of the month 


To see past entries click here.

You wrote:

' Hello,

I have a baby snapper, I took it from a lake in August. At that time it still had it's egg tooth. I was wondering, what would have to be done if I wanted to release it in the spring or summer, and what its survival rate might be? I kept it this long because I feel responsible for the little thing and don't want anything to happen to it.

Anyway thank you for any help you can give me.
Thanks
Timarah '


Answer:

Hi Timarah,

Winter is a season in which turtles become less active. Those living in cold climates spend their winters hibernating. After finding the right spot a snapping turtle would burry itself in mud and vegetation, underwater. All functions of it's body slow down and eventually the turtle 'falls asleep'. During hibernation it needs very little oxygen and gets all the energy from the fats it stored during intensive feeding in the warmer months. Hibernation is something that should happen gradually. Turtles which are not strong enough prior to the cold season die during this time of inactivity. Releasing the turtle in such extreme environment would greatly lower it's chance to survive, especially for a tiny little one. The choice to keep it until spring was a very good one. Make the best home that you can for him or her in the meantime, feed it well to make it strong and ready for life in the wild next year. Being bigger will definitely increase its chances to have a long and happy turtle life !

Thanks for writing!
Stan

More reading & related links:
 
        Basic snapping turtle info in one file - Introduction to snapping turtles.pdf (116 Kb)  

             Past entries click here.

 


          
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