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Posted In: Environment

Don’t Box Me In

Andy Thompson

@richmondoutside
January 30, 2018 10:01am

Eastern box turtles can live as long as 100 years in the wild. Credit: Wikipedia

Melissa Scott Sinclair has a fascinating story at RichmondMagazine.com about a lady named Shelley Whittington, a Hanover resident who’s become an advocate for turtle welfare in Central Virginia. It reminded me of a column I wrote years ago for the Times-Dispatch about the incredible eastern box turtle. EBTs can live for decades — sometimes as much as 100 years — and, if habitat is right, may never leave it’s 1-mile square home range.

As Sinclair writes: The Eastern box turtle, an ancient terrestrial species, has a near-unbreakable connection to its home range, even after a subdivision swallows the woods. Once removed, a turtle may spend the rest of its life searching for that place again — but if left there, it may starve in the sterile environment of fenced lawns, or be unable to find a mate.

Whittington’s story of creating a sanctuary for EBTs and other turtles is a great read. Check it out here.


About Andy Thompson

I was the Outdoors Columnist at the Times-Dispatch from 2007 to 2013, writing twice a week about mountain biking, fishing, hunting, paddling and much more. I live a 1/4 mile from the James River, close enough to see bald eagles soaring over my house on their way to find a meal. Pretty cool, eh?


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