What follows is a press release from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) highlighting recent Environmental Conservation Officer wildlife rescues.
On August 8th, Environmental Conservation Officer (ECO) DuChene responded to an osprey in distress in the town of Fallsburg. Upon the officer’s arrival, she was met by several concerned local residents to assist with locating the young osprey. Working together, the osprey was successfully captured for closer observation. Missy Runyan at the Friends of the Feathered and Furry Wildlife Center in the town of Hunter helped assess the extent of injuries and determined the fledgling was simply an unskilled flyer and took a tumble into the water. The bird was returned to the shoreline to reunite with its parents in a nearby nest. Thanks to ECO DuChene, the responding residents had the chance to get up close and personal with their very first osprey.
While on patrol on July 26th, Environmental Conservation Officer ECO Crisafulli received a call for a hawk in distress at a residence in the village of Brewster. The ECO met with the homeowner and found the hawk stuck in a chicken coop where it was being attacked by some of the chickens. Officer Crisafulli safely rescued the red-shouldered hawk, which did not appear to sustain any apparent injuries. Following the incident, the ECO released the hawk and it flew away.
On August 11th, ECO DeRose responded to assist Suffolk County Police with a 911 call for a ‘dangerous turtle’ in the garden of a residence. Upon arrival, ECO DeRose determined it was a large native snapping turtle with a shell almost 18 inches long. ECO DeRose, along with Suffolk County Police, safely removed the turtle and transported it to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator for evaluation. After it was determined to be in good health, they released the snapping turtle into a local pond.
When encountering a snapping turtle, you usually don’t need to do anything. When they are on land, try to give them some extra space and they will move on. If you must move a snapping turtle, use caution; either pick her up at the rear of the shell near the tail using two hands or slide a car mat under the turtle to drag her a short distance. They try to avoid confrontation and are more likely to defend themselves on dry land. Snappers spend most of their lives in the water, where they will generally swim away from people when encountered and are usually docile.
Learn more about snapping turtles in the April 2017 Conservationist.
Photos, from above: ECO DuChene with fledgling osprey courtesy DEC; and snapping turtle by Holly Faulkner.