I am senior naturalist at Ijams Nature Center, a nature/ environmental education center. But we have also been a wildlife sanctuary since the 1920s. It is their home and we protect it and them.
Yesterday morning we found in the woods one of our prized wild Eastern box turtles with a bashed in top shell (carapace). It appears to be caused by a rock or hammer. He is a wild animal that lives outside year-round in the vicinity of the Visitor Center.
We have seen him from time-to-time for years. His markings are very distinctive.
Our in-house veterinarian, Dr. Louise Conrad, hopes the shell will heal. It's like a broken bone but like any injury, infection can set in.
Dr. Louise took him to the University of Tennessee Veterinary Hospital. X-rays will determine if there is any internal damage. I will keep you posted.
Thousands of people visit Ijams every year. We love that. Rarely do we find one of our wild animals injured. Over the years we have found a couple of our wild snakes bludgeoned to death. Senseless.
Remember, Ijams is their home. Please respect them. Look but don't touch. And certainly don't bash one with a rock.
Who would do such a thing?