New York’s Official State Reptile Saved From Orange County Highway
New York State's official state reptile was saved trying to cross a busy highway in the Hudson Valley.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation released its weekly Environmental Conservation Police on Patrol report on Wednesday. This week's report included forest rangers saving a deer in Sullivan County and rescuing a turtle in Orange County.
Snapping Turtle Saved Trying To Cross Busy Highway in Tuxedo, Orange County, New York
On May 29, ECOs Lovgren and Schuck spotted New York State's official state reptile, the snapping turtle, trying to cross a busy highway in the town of Tuxedo, Orange County.
The turtle is lucky ECOs Lovgren and Schuck were in the area assisting the DEC's Bureau of Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health and their aquatic invasive species boat stewards during the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
"The snapping turtle is an omnivore and eats carrion. It often buries itself in the mud with only its nostrils and eyes showing, waiting for unsuspecting prey. Snapping turtles may seem aggressive, but often avoid confrontation and demonstrate defensive behavior, snapping at anything they find threatening. Their snap is so powerful it can easily shear fingers, so observers are urged to maintain a safe distance. Snappers spend most of their lives in the water, where they generally swim away from people when encountered," the DEC stated in a press release.
New York's Official State Reptile Saved From Orange County Highway
ECOs Lovgren and Schuck successfully picked up the snapping turtle and returned it to the nearby Ramapo River, according to the DEC. The DEC did not release the name of the "busy highway" but because the turtle was placed in the "nearby Ramapo River" it appears to be Route 17.
On average, snapping turtles live 30 to 40 years, and are among the biggest turtles in North America, officials say.