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.