Large Turtle Spotted in Decatur!

Atlanta-Decatur-20130615-00140

Decaturkj sends in this pic of a very large turtle spotted by the creek at Oakview and South McDonough.  KJ says that it looked as if the turtle was digging a nest.

50 thoughts on “Large Turtle Spotted in Decatur!”


      1. Gameraaaaaa!
        Gameraaaaaa!
        Gamera is really neat!
        He is filled with turtle meat!
        We’re in love with Ga-mer-aaa!

      1. Gopher tortoises are smaller, have rounder shells, and don’t have huge heads like that. They’re also not usually found this far north.

        1. Got-DANG, Marlin Perkins! Layin’ down that fauna expertise right here on DM!! (Are you gonna send poor Jim in to tranquilize her whilst you stay safely out of range of those snappin’ jaws?) 😀

  1. I wonder if this is the same big guy/gal I saw walking by the Sunrise Facility at Clairemont/Scott last week? Someone was trying to lead him/her away from the street.

    1. That is indeed a Snapping Turtle, and she was probably digging a nest. From the Wikipedia entry at http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_snapping_turtle :

      “Snappers will travel extensively overland to reach new habitat or to lay eggs. Pollution, habitat destruction, food scarcity, overcrowding and other factors will drive snappers to move overland; it is quite common to find them traveling far from the nearest water source. This species mates from April through November, with their peak laying season in June and July. The female can hold sperm for several seasons, using it as necessary. Females travel over land to find sandy soil in which to lay their eggs, often some distance from the water. After digging a hole, the female typically deposits 25 to 80 eggs each year, guiding them into the nest with her hind feet and covering them with sand for incubation and protection. Incubation time is temperature-dependent, ranging from 9 to 18 weeks.”

  2. That turtle has been around the neighborhood for a few years. She wanders over to Adams street a lot. We’ve had to take her back to the Agnes Scott retention pond on Davis a couple times. Carefully.

  3. The first time I walked by her, I thought she was a statue. I chuckled to myself that someone would leave a giant turtle statue by a creek and how very Decatur that would be. But something told me to go back, and when I did she was moving all around. I could not find anything to place in the frame for purposes of demonstrating scale, but she was indeed giant!

  4. I carried a giant turtle like this one across Davis Street last week. He/she was in the gutter and I was so afraid she wouldn’t make it across the road without being smashed that I gingerly picked her up near the back of her shell and deposited her on the grass facing towards the ASC retention pond. I wanted to put her in the fence but I didn’t know there was a way to get in so I left her outside the fence and hoped for the best. I’ve been worrying about her ever since!

    1. I am impressed, those things are big, heavy and pretty damn mean when they are full grown. Will you be my bodyguard?

    1. C’mon, Keith. When animals employ resources — beavers building dams, for instance — it’s the beauty of nature. When we do it, it’s the destruction of man. Get it straight!

      1. My bad.

        I’m of the mind that I AM nature, so how is it possible I can do anything unnatural?

  5. My sister and I had a pet turtle 65 years ago. Turtles live for a long time. See if he answers to the name of Sam.

  6. The person referred to above as leading what was definitely a snapping turtle away from Scott Blvd does not think this is a snapping turtle

  7. That’s the Common Snapping Turtle, found all over Georgia. Gopher Tortoises are found in the Lower Coastal Plain, duh. Get with the hipster herpetology already!

  8. fair warning: i’m calling a trapper tomorrow–it’s only a matter of time before that snapper kills someone’s dearly beloved cat. she and her kind must be stamped out before they band with the coyotes and lay siege to our village.

      1. genius plan by Rick, call trapper, then turn trapper in for reward. should net him a good $7800, pre tax.

      2. terrible fate for that turtle–my instructions for our trapper would be to capture, then release it into a pond in some far flung wilderness. until then, i’ll be keeping all of our pets in the house, and we’ll sleep with one eye open and our windows closed and clocked.

        the last thing i want to wake to is the humid breath of a killer snapper sitting on my pillow.

        1. “the last thing i want to wake to is the humid breath of a killer snapper sitting on my pillow.” — Nothing to disagree with there!
          Just how big is this turtle, anyway?

    1. Turtles bring us together; school board not so much.

      We had a large, not this large, turtle lay eggs and then cover them with dirt in our yard once. It was fascinating to watch, albeit in v-e-r-r-y s-l-o-w motion. We watched for weeks but never saw any baby turtles emerge.

    2. The school board has been discussed ad nauseum for years, and it always gets very emotional and passionate. Turtle discussions are a nice break from such a hot topic. We love Decatur, too.

      1. If you remove the bones properly, they’re actually quite tasty…especially with a nice chianti and some fava beans.

  9. An adult snapper was killed on the street near Fernbank Science Center this morning. Larry Wilson (herpetologist at Fernbank) thinks a combination of nesting season and heavy rains mean they’ll be on the street more than usual. Let’s be careful out there!

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