I am guilt-ridden (I killed a turtle)

So, last year, I’m mowing my grass and right before I hit it, I see a turtle shell. The turtle was about as big as a softball, and it was by pure luck I didn’t kill it then. I felt good about that. From time to time, I’d see the turtle, always in a different spot, but always hanging out in my backyard. I don’t know what was so fascinating back there, but I assume the turtle was happy.

Fast-forward to last weekend. I’m mowing a big old section of grass behind some trees that I don’t mow regularly. I was out there for about 40 minutes. And then, it happened. I ran over my turtle. I never saw it! It knew I was out there mowing, couldn’t it have moved into the woods, or on a rock, or at least stick its head up and give me fair warning?

I feel like crap. :frowning:

It was kind of like my adopted yard mascot. At least it had to be a quick way to go. I hope.

I don’t know much about turtles, but I assume it was the same one. Either way, it was a nasty sound, and cleaning my mower was no fun.

Awwwww! …and, ewwwwwwwwwwwwwww!

Poor little guy. And poor you!

Dude, your pain is palpable. I’m almost crying after reading your story-- I have no idea what I’d do it I killed a turtle. I am one of those weirdos who sobs if a bird hits the windshield. I just cannot deal with the death of animals, especially wildlife.

If it helps, I’ve killed a fish before. And, more traumatically, last year I was riding my bike at lake nockamixon early in the morning and I hit a goose. It was on the paved part at the marina that leads out to the little point-thingy with the benches. Anyway, as I was riding along, I scared a flock of geese and one of them flew straight into my front wheel and got it’s wing stuck in the spokes. I slammed on the brakes and tried to free it, but it was too twisted and the bird was frightened.

There was blood. I screamed for help, but the place was empty. In the end, I threw my jacket over it’s head to calm it down and finally removed it’s wing from my bicycle. It had to be broken. It was at an odd angle, and the feathers were stained with it’s blood. It waddled off into the water as if nothing had happened. I’m sure it died though.

I haven’t been able to ride my bike since. It’s been tainted. Oh, God, why do I kill so many animals? Somebody hold me. :frowning:

I’ve killed deer recreationally and I’ve accidentally hit birds and small woodland creatures with my car without feeling badly but I have a special place in my heart for turtles. If I see a turtle struggling to cross a busy road I will stop my car, remove him from the area, and deposite him in an area where he is less likely to be harmed. A few weeks ago I stopped to rescue a turtle in the road and when I picked him up I discovered his lower shell was cracked and he was bleeding. I put him in a safer place thinking that he was likely to die but being off the road might give him a better chance for survival. Last week I picked up a huge turtle off the road and noticed he had what appeared to be a healed crack in his upper shell so that gives me hope that the one I saved before might have survived.

I feel your pain.


[Stan & Kyle] You bastard! [/S & K]

I’m sorry, stonewall. I know how you feel…sometimes squirrels hurl themselves under the tires of my car no matter how I try to miss them.

A few months ago I hit a bird. Just a little bird that flew RIGHT in front of my car when I was going about 65.

The worst part was seeing it sort of fluttering on the ground in my rearview mirror. I felt horrible. But it was unavoidable.

I’m sorry about your turtle. That really sucks.

Stonewall, so sorry bout the turtle, twasn’t your fault, though, just a sad accident.

Thought I would add, though; if anyone finds an injured turtle, even with the shell broken, they can be saved. I worked at a wildlife rehab center, and was amazed that turtles can heal from what looked like a mortal wound. It does take awhile, but with antibiotics, proper bandaging and wiring (the current method is to use the apparatus for dental braces glued to the shell, and wired together), turtles can recover remarkably. So,get them to a proper wildlife vet or trained rehabber.

Here’s a list of credited turtle rehabbers; you can also make a search on the site for a local person by zipcode.

It’s worth the effort; the small box turtle you find can actually be 30 years old, and have some decades of life still ahead. I really gained an appreciation of turtles in caring for them; they have varied person… um…turtlenalities, and I loved to see the great variation of color patterns among them. Such fine critters!

Oops, apparently, that link is filtered so it won’t copy/paste…Here’s the original site, you can scroll down to Turtles to get the list.

Warning: Very sad story about a child below:

[spoiler]Recently in my area, a grandfather was mowing his field with a bush-hog (one of those huge mower contraptions which is towed behind a tractor.) His little grandson was sitting on his lap, but he somehow slipped and fell behind the tractor, and went under the bush-hog before the grandfather could stop it.

A friend of mine knows the family. He the poor grandfather was insane with grief and guilt. He had to be physically restrained to stop him from killing himself.[/spoiler]

Thanks for the kind words, all. I too, have a soft spot for turtles, and have stopped and helped a few across roads. It’s not their fault they were born without speed… and as far as I know, they don’t pose any real environmental threat.

Lissa, that is a sad story. Puts my turtle story in perspective.

I am fascinated by the idea of putting a child on your lap on a riding mower. My neighbor does it. I guess he lets the kid steer, but still, accidents happen. This behavior is so inconsistent with the obsession with child safety in this country. Put child in car seat… put helmet on child before riding a bike… hey, want to ride on dad’s lap while he mows the grass on this big tractor with sharp, powerful chopping blades?

I don’t get it.

Sorry to hear of the turtle’s untimely demise, i guess it didn’t realize it was in a high-risk environment…

I also like turtles, always have, heck, even as a kid, i’ve gone out of my way to help the little terrapins, one day I drove up to my freind’s house on my Honda ATC 125M 3 wheeler (we have connected properties and a woods trail going between the properties) only to find him pulling wheelies…

off a snapping turtle…

he’d ride the front wheel up on the shell and pull back on the bars, I told him to stop, luckilly, the baloon tires on a 3 wheeler have less than 5 pounds of air in them, so they’re soft and deform easily, the turtle wasn’t injured, just scared, once my freind stopped his wheelies, the turtle scurried off as fast as his stubby legs could carry him…

there’s at least 2 snappers living in the brook across the road from Bartletts Brook (the road that was washed out during the Mothers Day floods in New England), and i’ve stopped to coax them across the road numerous times, these snappers are highly agressive, so I need to use my “poky-stick” (the steel handle for my hydraulic trolley jack) to keep them pointed in the right direction, as they’d rather try to bite me instead of going down to the culvert…

I just found out that the most efficient way to get the snappers across the road is to park the car behind them and give the engine a few revs instead, the engine vibrations really coax them across the road…

I never knew it but turtles can actually be trained, at least a little bit. Many people in Saudi buy the small desert turtles as pets and then abandon them when they leave. For some strange reason, the gardners around here started bringing abandoned turtles to my wife. For a while we had a ranch of about a dozen adult turtles and some tiny, golf-ball-sized babies.
Anyway, my wife fed them cucumbers and lettuce and the like. It got to where when she went out and stomped her feet on the ground, the turtle herd would come rushing up to her for their cucumbers. It looked strange, the turtles would really be hustling across the yard.


I’m a turtle savior too. The sight of a turtle heroically trying to cross a road is so pathetic I’m compelled to stop the car and go carry it across.

Sorry about your turtle, Stonewall. :frowning:

Oooo…poor turtle!
I was driving down a highway one day and saw one crossing into the next lane. I swerved slightly to avoid it, and looked in my rear-view mirror in time to see the truck behind me hit the edge of the shell so that it flipped right into the rear tire. I had an actual physical reaction, I felt so horrified.

I creamed a nest full of baby rabbits with the mower once. What a godawful mess.

I was more aware of them after reading your post and moved a golf ball sized youngester from my dirt road this morning.

OMFG!!! That’s what happened to Cousin Harry!!
Beware the revenge that will creep into your bedroom tonight. Veryyyy slowlyyyy.

And Stonewall, I didn’t say so but I’m sorry you waxed the turtle. They’re cool beasts and almost everyone likes them.



What’s a turtle?