Travis called me to say he had found a turtle. “No way, I do not want a turtle!” I told him before he had a chance to say anything else. “Just hear me out.” So, he had found it in his yard while building a retaining wall and raking out some leaves against the house. They set it out in the yard, but then when Lauren went to leave, it was in the driveway. So, Timmy the turtle was placed in a box and Travis had the great idea to bring it to my house for the kids to see (what a cool uncle) and then we could take it to the nice, quiet pond near our house and release it. That was a great idea, because they live on a fairly busy street and if he tried to cross…well, it could have been bad. Travis and Lauren brought the turtle by. The kids loved it! They decorated his box. They gave him water, leaves, and carrots cut into tiny pieces. They touched his shell and squealed when he moved at all (especially Genevieve). That poor turtle had to be totally stressed out. The Missouri Department of Conservation has a great guide to turtles found in Missouri. That made it really easy to identify what kind of turtle we had: Trachemys scripta elegans (red-eared slider). And based on further reading about this type of turtle, I am pretty sure we had a male based on his claws, darker colors, and tail.
If you watch the slideshow below, you can see what he did when we took him out of the box at the pond. He wasted no time at all in crawling right into the water and swimming away (living up to the name). He popped his head up after he was about 8 feet out and then we didn’t see him again. And Genevieve said, “Bye-Bye Turtle.”