Eastern Box Turtle


You'll encounter these denizens of the canal occasionally hobbling across the towpath.  They're different from the black aquatic variety that are usually lazing in the sun on the ends of logs in the watery parts.

They make pretty good pets.  I found one on the road one day while driving to Dickerson and took him home.  During the trip he, uh, relieved himself in the car so I named him Dumpy.  We kept him for a few days, stuffed him full of earthworms, and finally let him go. 

Sometime later I came across another Eastern Box turtle on the towpath but he was hurt, it looked as though a bicycle ran over one of his feet.  He couldn't get around very well and I was concerned.  Even though you're not supposed to pluck flowers or animals from public parks, I made an exception for this poor guy.  I named him Stumpy, in honor of the former Dumpy and his disability.

We stuffed Stumpy full of worms too but it didn't look as though his foot was getting better.  So we took him to the turtle doctor.  They kindly took him, and fixed him up for free but we had to turn him over to the vet for keeps.  We visited him once and he looked very happy!