On Saturday evening we took in this lady furrowed wood turtle and her mate, found by a couple of gentlemen in DFC neighborhood. As they didn’t know what to do with them they called us and we’re sure glad they did.
Often when people find turtles on the island on land, they intervene by capturing the turtle and placing them into the lagoon. This is actually NOT where this species belongs.
Just like their mainland cousin, the Meso-American Slider, the Furrowed Wood Turtles are a freshwater species and will suffer in saltwater. Unlike their Meso-American cousins, these guys are semi terrestrial, meaning they spend most of their time on land, and they survive on the cayes because they can go for long periods without fresh water. During the dry season they’ll hunker down and burrow waiting for the return of the rains. When the rains come, they resurface and gorge themselves on the freshwater, so it’s not uncommon to see them around during this time of year seeking out small ponds and puddles.
If you come across some, unless they’re in a heavily polluted area, just let them carry on. They know what they’re doing 🙂 If they’re in the road and you’re worried they may get squashed, be the wildlife warrior they need and stop traffic so they can cross safely. That may sound ridiculous to some, but being an eco destination carries with it a responsibility for each of us to do our part to help the wildlife we share this island with. And this brings me to my next point... We held these turtles to monitor prior to release as is protocol whenever possible with any kind of wildlife intake. On Sunday, we noticed pieces of plastic in the turtle pool, and whilst investigating the source we saw the female defecating more!! At some point this poor lady had eaten a rubber glove and was trying to pass it through her system!! Even now as I write this post 4 days after intake she is still crapping out bits of plastic!! This is not ok. You reading this, may not being the problem, but we are all part of the solution. We all have the power to make a difference to the cleanliness and health of the ecosystem we share with the wildlife, which are so special people travel the world to come see. When the country reopens and visitors slowly start making their way back to paradise, what do we want them to see? A garbage dump that screams we don’t care?? Or a jewel whose residents are truly proud of their home? Be the difference that inspires others, and show the world what Belize is really made of! 🐢🌴🐊🐍🌴🐬🦎🌴🦜🦝🌴🐅