Share the Road (as Published in the Wellington Times)
The following article was written by Ontario Turtle Tally Participant Sheila Stanley, and was originally published in the Wellington Times. Click on the thumbnail below to view the entire article.
Snapping turtles may bite people while underwater. On July 24,1980 I was SCUBA diving in the shallow dark bay of a lake west of Huntsville. I felt something brush my lower leg, which startled me, because I hadn’t seen anything. A second or two later, something bit my outer thigh – hard. I immediately turned and saw a snapping turtle swimming away. It cut my wetsuit, but didn’t go through to my skin. I mentioned this to Bob Johnson a couple of years later, and he was surprised.
In about 2005 I was snorkelling in Killarney Lake, in Killarney Park. A very large snapping turtle kept swimming toward me. Remembering my 1980 experience, I didn’t want to get too close as I wasn’t wearing a wetsuit this time. I tried to swim around it so I could leave the water, but it wouldn’t let me pass. I asked friends at our campsite on shore to pass me a canoe paddle. Slowly and gently I placed the paddle grip against the centre of the turtle’s plastron, and then shoved forcefully. I did this a few times, but each time the turtle came back at me. So I swam in the other direction and climbed out through the bushes! I wonder if it was being territorial, curious, or amorous!
Peter Attfield, Richmond Hill.