Friday, July 1, 2011

Painted Turtle

I don't know about you, but whenever I hear the word leech I think about the movie Stand By Me
The husband brought home a turtle the other day he had found in the road.  Instead of moving it to the brook on the side of the road where he found the turtle, he brought it home for the boys.  He's super.
Attached to this cute Painted Turtle were quite a number of leeches.  All I could think was "poor little guy!"
Notice:  the turtle only had one back foot.

The husband about to scrape off the leeches.  I'm sure the turtle was fine, but I was not.

Gross!  A leech searching for something to leech onto.  Blech!

Poor guy...leeches, missing feet...good thing my kids were there to hold him upside down...

Fortunately, we were right there, ready to inform our children about the dangers of holding a turtle upside down.  If they are not righted, or allowed to flip back over because they are in a small child's hands, their internal organs could be crushed. 
We reported our sighting at the Massachusetts Turtle Atlas.  I'm sure they'll be delighted we removed the turtle from it's natural habitat so my kids could hold it upside down. 
As gross as I find leeches, we did get to talk to the kids about the benefits of leeches in medicine.  We also discussed leeches as food for fish.  And we did find out that there is a ridiculous amount of species of leeches...650! 

No comments: