Top Photo: eastern painted turtle.
Thanks to the vigilance of Animal Keeper Sarah, with an assist from Keeper Kent, we now have a turtle’s nest to monitor. On June 21, Keeper Sarah spotted an eastern painted turtle laying eggs next to the gravel driveway that leads to the Red Wolf Enclosure.
I placed a cage over the nest site to keep predators, such as raccoons, from digging up and eating the eggs. There are numerous sites throughout our campus where turtles have deposited eggs only to have them dug up by those masked marauders of the night.
Fortunately, the turtle thought to dig her nest just outside the gate to the wolf enclosure so that you too can have a close look at it.
If all goes as planned, the eggs should hatch in about 72 days. However, if events unfold as they have in the past here at the Museum, the turtles will overwinter in the nest and dig their way out next April. I will, though, be keeping a close eye on the nest around the end of August into September for any activity. I’ll let you know if there’s any movement.