Came across this bittersweet sight yesterday.
There are a bunch of small caves and cliffs around my creek and I usually check them out when I’m down there because I’ve found tons of bones in and around them in the past.
When I first saw this guy I thought he was alive and just hunkered down in the leaves but it soon became apparent that he had just found a nice quiet place to peacefully slip away some time ago. It was a sad sight but in a way it was actually sort of nice to see one that apparently died of natural causes unlike so many I’ve seen in the past that were killed by vehicles, tractors, lawnmowers, or cruel people with bb guns.
This is another one of those finds that stayed where I found it. Not only are Eastern Box Turtles considered vulnerable by the IUCN* but this fellow just had a really peaceful vibe about him so I didn’t want to move him from his secluded little spot.
Eastern Box Turtles can live between 30-60 years with legends of some individuals living to be well over a hundred years old. I hope this fellow had a good, long life.
*I believe that here in TN at least it’s illegal to possess eastern box turtle parts but I’m waiting to hear back from a TWRA official on that.