Meredith's adoptive guardian is MEG BYRUM!
UPDATE August, 2009. In mid August Karen saw Meredith laying a clutch of eggs!! We think the father is Chewy! We plan to incubate them away from ants and other predators and hopefully they will hatch and we will have baby turtles soon to one day release on the mountain!
Meredith was found injured on a road somewhere in the Asheville area of Western North Carolina and then dropped off with a wildlife rehabilitator. Her "rescuers" did a great thing by helping her but unfortunately they did not remember her place of origin so she will not be able to be released back into her home in the wild. This similar situation happens to countless turtles all over the county and is very unfortunate--especially since when the turtles are females. One less female in the wild means a reduced reproductive capacity for the native population of box turtles in their home habitats. Box turtles are the definition of home-bodies and many studies show that most turtles that are released far from their place of birth will try to walk home. This strong homing instinct places the turtle in danger as it crosses the countryside and encounters hazards such as roads, rivers, mowers, predators and people.
Scientists and herpetologists are still studying the homing instincts of box turtles in order to learn more about their homing instincts and movements when taken far away from their home and you can help too! If you find a box turtle injured on the road please do take it to the nearest wildlife rehabilitator or veterinarian but PLEASE remember to write down the EXACT location where it was found so it can be returned to its home after it heals. If you find a box turtle crossing a road please pull off the road and safely move the turtle to the side of the road it was moving toward--if you move it to the side it has just come from it will cross again because it knows where it is and it has "important turtle business"* to conduct.
In the future Meredith may join Mojo in the Earthshine Turtle Tracks study and receive a radio transmitter so that her movements in a new area can be followed and mapped. Data from her tracks will be able to be used to help us to better understand what happens when a turtle is moved away from its home and released into a suitable habitat. Until that time Meredith will live in the turtle enclosure at Earthshine with Tripod and the other resident turtles.
Remember: Box turtles are not able to adapt to the world of humans so we humans must adapt to the world of the box turtle. The more we know about the secret life of the Eastern box turtle, the more we will be able to help them survive.
The Turtle Tracks conservation program operates primarily on donations from private supporters. If you are interested helping us fund this wonderful conservation project and would like to become a part of the Turtle Tracks program by donating or adopting (sponsoring) a turtle please click the photolink below.
If you have any questions please contact us by clicking the note in the bottle below--thanks.
*Thank you John Sealy for your inspirational words!