Box turtles are a common sight in Hot Springs Village, and many of us stop to help them cross roads safely.
As long as we carry them to the side where they are headed, they will likely be saved.
Here are some facts about these gentle, harmless creatures.
Arkansas is home to two varieties: the three-toed and the ornate box turtles. The common three-toed turtles have a plain shell that may have yellow and black markings, while rarer ornate box turtles have dark brown or black dome-shaped shells with many yellow lines and markings.
But do you know that these turtles have a “profoundly strong connection” to the location where they were hatched?
According to www.boxturtles.com, they stay in proximity to that place and remain there all of their lives.
If they are removed from their home, they will experience stress and they can die an early death.
Humans can inadvertently cause this by removing them and releasing them somewhere else. The turtles will not adapt and will often hopelessly wander to find their old home until they die.
If you or your children take a turtle from its location, always return it to the exact location so it will continue to thrive.
Therefore, our only interaction with these harmless creatures should be to help them safely cross the road. Caution your family and friends not to pick up or move one except to move it to safety within the same locale.
We can all help our Village remain a healthy, thriving, natural habitat for the forest wildlife with which we cohabitate, adding to the charm of our natural home.