I don’t know a lot about Terrapins. I know they are not exactly turtles. I know they get run over by cars all the time. I know they are semi-aquatic, and crawl up out of the bay to lay eggs around the Island this time of year. I know, and love, the Grateful Dead’s anthem to storytelling and songwriting, and that the album cover for Terrapin Station clearly does not depict an actual Terrapin, adding to the turtle/tortoise/terrapin confusion.
But the one thing I’ve learned about them that most people generally don’t understand is that the Terrapin generally know what they are doing. When you see them cruising around the Island this time of year, they are most likely looking to lay their eggs. They know what they need to do. Our job is to help remove any human obstacles.
So if you see one crossing a busy road, pull over and help it across safely. Always assist a Terrapin in the direction it was already heading. Imagine for a moment you were in labor and on the way to the hospital. Then imagine Godzilla, or perhaps aliens, picked up your car and returned it to your driveway. What would you do? A Terrapin will do the same. So if it is heading East, move it to the East. And if it heading West, move it to the West. Don’t mess with a Terrapin who is not in danger.
And get the real scoop over at the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ’s Project Terrapin Web Page. Read up. You will see one, you will be able to help one, and it really is a thrill.
And of course, I Will Not Forgive You, If You Do Not Take The Chance.