Freedom! 24 May 2001
Today also marked freedom for the two rescued hatchlings who were recuperating in my lab. Both had recovered sufficiently to return to the wild. Knotch had survived root predation and dehydration which had killed her 15 nest mates, a deformity caused by root strangling, and coyote predation of her nest. A week of treatment with heat and humidity, and she seemed as good as new, raring to break for freedom. I returned her to the Lieutenant Island nursery habitat and watched her weave her way into the dense marsh vegetation. I defy anyone to find a trace of her former carapace deformity.
Terry, the desiccated hatchling found blindly crawling along the Goose Pond Trail by a group of Maryland high schoolers, also had recovered enough to earn her release. Today was turtle day for the naturalists training class at the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. After a lecture on box turtles and terrapins, several of the students braved rain, wind, and chill to see Terry off in the salt marsh near Try Island. Despite weather conditions, releases are the brightest moments for budding naturalists.