Now that summer has passed, I've signed on to pick up a few more Sunday day shifts for a bit of extra income. Today was a fairly busy one that included this rather surprising arrival:
Eastern box turtles are actually an endangered species in this state and this one, a female, just happened to be found at the corner of a busy intersection in downtown Portland. She probably didn't stumble into town from the wilds, though. Far more likely that she was being kept in captivity, which is illegal here due to their state endangered status, and either escaped or was released.
Although the chances are that she was caught somewhere down South, where they are far more plentiful, the fact that she's in this state now meant that I needed to try to contact someone from the state. So I called the state's Endangered Species Program office and, unsurprisingly, got a voice mailbox.
Fortunately, I just happen to know someone, who just happened to know whom to bug (only a little bit) on his day off. A couple phone calls and e-mails later, we sorted out a game plan for communicating about a hand-off after the weekend and I decided it would be easier to bring her home with me, in case it meant driving her up to Augusta (on my day off, though I can use it as an excuse to go see my mom).
Meantime, a good Samaritan (actually, they were Jehovah's Witness - or at least they were calling from a Kingdom Hall - but as they didn't leave a Watchtower, I'm going to call them a good Samaritan) brought in a far more common Eastern Painted Turtle that had been hit by a car. This one I didn't take photos of, though. She has a pretty nasty, but potentially fixable, crack in her carapace, and the wound had fly eggs laid in it.
Again fortunately, the fly eggs hadn't hatched out yet, so I did a bit of debriding to try to clean them all out and gave her a dose of antibiotics. Then brought her home, as well, so that I can take her over to the nearby York Center for Wildlife, where I expect they'll be able to put her back together and get her back into the wild by sometime next year.
YCfW is where I take pretty much all the injured or orphaned wildlife that I write about here, and they're a bunch of really dedicated people who do a really phenomenal job. They're also funded by donations, which is why I put that link over there in the sidebar a little while back. I give them a bit when I can, but their costs run about $70 for each animal they rehab. So if you can spare $5 (or even a bit more - it's tax-deductible), I'm sure I can something nice in my stash, possibly several somethings nice - to do a little drawing.
And if you really need the incentive, I'll go stash diving once I've gotten some sleep and take some photos.