Native Plants, Habitat Restoration, and Other Science Snippets from Athens, Georgia

Tuesday: 17 June 2014

Update on Katherine  -  @ 09:53:50
I appreciate the input on my role as observer versus conservator, as regards the box turtles that have come to occupy my attention for some years now. For those who aren't familiar with this situation, I ran across Katherine, a box turtle I've found many times over the last three years, and she had a substantial neck swelling that I tentatively identified as a tumor or abscess.

I think the comments there, as well as gentle input from Glenn, make it pretty clear that the conservator role is just as important as the observer role. Bev checked with an acquaintance who said that this looked like a treatable aural abscess. Since I had a similar sort of thing last summer (in a different place), I know it's potentially life threatening because of septicemia, but relatively simple to treat.

So yesterday I scoured the area for a couple of hours and was unable to find her. My intention was to take her to the UGA Vet School for emergency treatment, and then rehab at home for as long as necessary. She's probably where all other box turtles stay when they aren't in sight on top of the ground - she's burrowed under a pile of leaves, or under a log, and there are huge piles of leaves and logs in the area.

I'm continuing to look for her - the first time I've actually gone in search of a particular turtle. I haven't heard back from the UGA Vet School on an email I sent them yesterday but they do handle exotic animals.

I really appreciate the comments from Gin and Bev on the realities of the situation. The loss of an adult box turtle, especially a female, is a blow to any population, especially those in jeopardy.

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