Second Fatality of Nesting Season; An Old Friend is Killed on Lieutenant Island

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Female Terrapin #9018 Killed on Lieutenant Island

Shortly after finding the first fatality of the 2011 nesting season, Turtle Journal’s Sue Wieber Nourse discovered a second smashed terrapin about a quarter mile down the road.  While all unnecessary turtle deaths are unfortunate, it seems a tragedy to find an old friend killed so carelessly and so cruelly.  This female terrapin, #9018, has been tracked by Turtle Journal since Don Lewis first found her nesting on Lieutenant Island on June 27th, 2004.  She has been almost a member of the family, a reliable friend whom we see each summer as she struggles upland to lay her nest.

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Terrapin #9018 Nesting in June 2004

In fact, the photograph above records our first encounter with Terrapin #9018, just after she finished laying her nest and camouflaging its presence … immediately behind her tail in the image above. 

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Protecting Terrapin #9018’s Last Eggs

Today Sue was able to recover several undamaged eggs from her crushed body.  Sue carefully transported them to a very safe location where she dug a nest and covered it with a wire-cage predator excluder.  Under our watchful eyes, these eggs will incubate in the summer heat until they hatch sometime in mid to late August.  Hopefully, Turtle Journal will have a happier story to tell then, as the offspring of our friend Terrapin #9018 emerge from the sands of Lieutenant Island to take her place in the Wellfleet Bay population.

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