by Greg Mayer
Midland painted turtles (Chrysemy picta marginata) are the most abundant turtles in southeastern Wisconsin, and they live in and nest around Greenquist Pond, the pond right outside the building where my office is. Hatchlings don’t always walk the right way from their wintering abodes, and need help if they are to survive.
On May 9, 2019 (almost exactly five years since a similar reptile rescue), a group of students found this hatchling on its back on the concrete plaza between the lower levels of Wyllie and Comm Arts, 100 or more yards from the Pond.
Knowing who to go to for reptile advice, they brought the little fellow to me. Given its size, and its incompletely healed umbilical scar, this turtle hatched last summer (2018), and may have overwintered in the nest, emerging this spring. The turtles often nest in the area to the south and southeast of the Pond, and this one must have headed the wrong way after its winter nap.
At my suggestion, the students took the turtle to the Pond, and released it in the shallows at its NE corner, where it could make its home with the other painted turtles, including, in all probability, its parents.