Wee Snapper

What’s this, then?

Most of the turtles in Brooklyn are refugees from the pet industry. It’s actually illegal to sell them if they have smaller than 4″ carapaces, but we’ve all seen sidewalk hustlers selling tiny ones. (In Boston, I met a turtle who was given away as a wedding reception gift; every table got some.) This is why there are oodles of Red-eared Sliders in Prospect Park — released by fools with buyer’s regret. But what about Snapping Turtles, who are, unlike the Sliders, native to this part of the country? Over the years, I’ve seen a few, some of them enormous. Some of the more medium-sized ones been released by local reptile-rescuers. Before this weekend, the smallest I’d seen was this one in 2015.

This weekend I spotted my first Brooklyn hatchling. Was it born nearby and crawled to the water, or was it another release?
In fact, I haven’t seen a wee one like this since 2012, and that was in Massachusetts, where I helped it cross the mean old road.

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