Snapping Turtle Drama – 8/25/10
Observer: Paul Lauenstein
Observation Date: 8/25/10
Observation Time: 7:30 a.m.
Observation Location: Spillway at Gavins Pond dam
Common Name: Snapping Turtle
Scientific Name: Chelydra serpentina
On August 25 the spillway at the Gavins Pond dam was flowing strongly following four inches of rain in three days.
A good-sized snapping turtle had gotten swept by the current into the spillway at the Gavins Pond dam. It was hanging on to the concrete lip at the entrance of the spillway by its front claws. If it let go, it would have been swept over the falls and onto the shallow rocks, which might have been fatal. A few years ago, I saw a broken carapace of a big snapping turtle in the outflow pool. I suppose it had gotten swept over the falls and broke its shell.
Moments after I took the above picture, the turtle’s right front claw lost its grip, and the turtle lurched a couple inches backward toward the falls. I thought it was a goner, but it continued to hang on by its left front claw. It somehow managed to pull its right claw forward against the strong current and regained its grip on the lip of the spillway. Very slowly and carefully, it maneuvered itself toward the pond.
Once out of the current, it rested briefly, and I was able to get this last photo before it swam off.
More Information: Wikipedia