Painted Turtle Nest

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.


Site of painted turtle nest.
Site of painted turtle nest.


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.


A thoughtful turtle dug her nest just outside the wolf enclosure.
A thoughtful turtle dug her nest just outside the wolf enclosure.


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.

2 responses to Painted Turtle Nest

  1. Sarah says:

    I’m so excited!!
    All the other turtle nests at the base of the redwood tree (that I knew about) have been dug up. I was really glad to see that nest stayed intact until you could guard it. I know the raccoons/foxes/opossums all need to eat, too, but I’m happy we can give the eggs just a little extra boost until hatch day.

    • Greg Dodge says:

      Yes, I think the raccoons, fox, and possums do quite well in this neighborhood. Still, I have no figures to go on, but I’m fairly sure enough turtle nests survive to replenish the Wetlands here at the Museum.

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