Help preserve state’s turtles
Chances are, if you have been walking, biking or driving in Indiana, you have probably come across a turtle or two. Many of us find turtles to be fascinating creatures. They are most active in the late spring/summer/early fall, so from late March through October, having a turtle cross your path is not uncommon.
Unfortunately, some of these turtles are in trouble and need our help, or these encounters could become very rare.
According to the Department of Natural Resources, Indiana has 16 native species of turtles; several are endangered, and one of the more well-known species, the eastern box turtle, is protected. Eastern box turtle numbers are declining because of habitat destruction, collection and displacement by humans, and road mortality. It is illegal to collect them from the wild, yet many people still do it, unaware or uncaring of the damage they are doing to these fascinating animals. You are obviously doing a box turtle, or any turtle for that matter, a favor if you move them out of the road; the favor ends for that turtle when you take it home with you.
Box turtles spend the majority of their life in a very small range, and when displaced, will try desperately to return to it. Even if you release the turtle later, chances are it will be in a different location, and that is almost surely a death sentence. They may try to find their way back to their original area, crossing miles and multiple roads to get there, increasing the probability of being run over. If it is unable to find its way back, the turtle may be unable to survive. Any turtle taken out of the wild is one less turtle that can breed and sustain the population.
Please don’t remove turtles from their natural environments. If you have recently taken a turtle home and want to do the right thing, take the turtle back to where you found it, and place it safely out of harm’s way. If you decide you do want a turtle as a pet, please do your research first. Turtles, and other reptiles, are not easily kept pets, and they require a lot of special care.
Some turtles can easily live for 50 years or more, grow to be 12 inches long or more, need large enclosures, and specialized lighting and heat sources. So, having one as a pet is a big commitment. Look for a credible reptile rescue instead of buying a pet; like many shelter pets, there are many turtles and other reptiles that need homes.
How can you help turtles? Be on the look-out for them. They love mild, sunny weather, but are also often seen after it rains, especially if the sun comes out. If you see a turtle in the road, and it is safe to do so, move it to the side of the road in the direction it was headed (do not put yourself in danger).
Also, don’t throw anything out of your car window, even food or items you think are biodegradable. Discarded food attracts animals to the road, thus increasing their chances of being hit. Gum and cigarette butts can be deadly to birds and other animals. If you are looking to actively get involved, please find the Wabashiki Turtle Rescue page on Facebook to see how you can help the turtles of the Wabashiki wetlands, too many of whom are sadly run over on U.S. 40 (along with beavers, otters, muskrats and other animals).
Thank you in advance for helping preserve Indiana’s turtles.
— Ellen Lunsford
Help preserve state’s turtles
Editorial: Intriguing option for ISU towers
It’s appropriate that Indiana State University’s Recycling Center on North Ninth Street sits in the shadow of two hulking, well-used, 15-story towers that, if things develop as they might, could themselves be recycled rather than imploded.
- Readers’ Forum: Dec. 12, 2013
Noteworthy in the news: Another landmark for Pat Rady
A few weeks ago, Pat Rady embarked on his 50th year as a head basketball coach. Last weekend, he punctuated his landmark season at Cloverdale High School in Putnam County with the 724th victory of his stellar career, a mark that makes him the second winningest coach — and tops among active coaches — in Indiana basketball. It’s a remarkable achievement, and he appears to be going strong.
- Readers’ Forum: Dec. 11, 2013
RONN MOTT: Seeds from the same tree
Mahatma Gandhi, who was born in India before the turn of the 20th Century, went to England to study law and decided to settle in South Africa, and he did for 20 years. His work in South Africa was involved in the right of his Indian neighbors to have equal access to civil rights. He also worked for the indigenous people as well. When the people of India became restive during the early days of World War I, Gandhi came home.
READERS’ FORUM: Dec. 10, 2013
• Proud of diploma from McLean HS
• Sports could use drone’s eye view
• Another great downtown fest
• ISU’s silence is disappointing
MS. TAKES: Important date passes by without much notice
Recently we were asked to share our memories of the Kennedy assassination. Folks were interviewed for television or radio, or were asked to recall exactly what they were doing when they got word that our president had been murdered.
GUEST EDITORIAL: Lack of vaccinations puts children, community at risk
U.S. vaccination programs appear to have become a victim of their own success. Because many parents have never experienced the effects of childhood diseases such as mumps or measles — let alone polio — they don’t always appreciate the health risks the diseases pose and the continuing need for vaccinations.
Readers’ Forum: Dec. 9, 2013
Remove politics from education
FLASHPOINT: Dealing with hunger requires less rhetoric, more action
In November, millions of families in Indiana and across the nation saw their Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits cut through a planned phase-out of a temporary increase in funding that originally took place during the 2009 recession.
READER FORUM: Dec. 8, 2013
• Diving in to pool project
• A timely review of food basics
• Name-calling shows sad state of our politics
• Republicans their own worst enemy
• Full attack on common sense
EDITORIAL: Refusing to accept injustice, Mandela made world a better place
Injustice seldom ceases easily. Humans rationalize entrenched systems of persecution. Oppressed people or ideas get painted as a danger to the peaceful social order — the status quo. Cast in that image, inequality appears acceptable, even necessary, to the masses.
Time for a tour?
There’s an essay-type question that shows up on history exams, college applications, “Saturday Night Live” skits and quite possibly requests for platinum credit cards.
GUEST EDITORIAL: Congress now free from the threat of too much work
The headline on the Congress-watching newspaper Politico said it all: “Done.”
RONN MOTT: A friend celebrates his 90th
I went to Charlie Fox’s 90th birthday party Sunday last. He was standing greeting people as they came in the door. I never saw him sit down even one time. He looked more like a man celebrating his 60th rather than his 90th.
Editorial: Bring on the ‘Miracle’
For five miraculous years, Terre Haute’s Christmas festival on a Friday night in early December has grown and prospered.
- Readers’ Forum: Dec. 6, 2013
RONN MOTT: Cigars
Leaving Baesler’s Market the other day, making my round of errands, I started to re-light my cigar. It was left over from the day before and I did not place it in the humidor. It had gotten too dry, so I threw it into my garbage sack asking myself the question, “Why do I do this?” Well, I do it because I enjoy it.
TRIBUNE-STAR EDITORIAL: Changing attitudes demand GOP action
From all indications, the Republican Party’s legislative leadership will punt away in its next session the opportunity to make a good decision on behalf of all Hoosiers about placing a same-sex marriage ban in the state’s constitution.
READERS’ FORUM: Dec. 5, 2013
• Anarchy is in the ‘tea’ leaves
Editorial: Help us spread holiday cheer
The kind and generous people of the Wabash Valley are called upon often to help those less fortunate. We are proud to live an area where that call never goes unanswered.
- Readers’ Forum: Dec. 4, 2013
RONN MOTT: Cats, Inc.
I suppose we should give her a cake and a candle, but she would be happier with a handful of “treats” you can find wherever you shop for groceries. I’m talking about the two-year anniversary of the first cat we adopted. If we had known there were going to be more, her name probably would have been different. She was Orange Crush, a small, bedraggled, starving, Golden Tabby female that wandered into our yard a little after Thanksgiving. She had been badly maltreated.
MS. TAKES: Plenty of downsides to tree with candlelight
I had been spinning my wheels over Thanksgiving preparations the other day, so my Best Friend took me out for breakfast — a little luxury I never tire of. Our friend, Bill, stopped by our table to offer holiday felicitations and the conversation turned, as it often does this time of year, to Christmas.
READERS’ FORUM: Dec. 3, 2013
• Prestige chosen over practicality
• Tea partiers love country, freedom
• Same old clowns
LIZ CIANCONE: Plenty of downsides to tree with candlelight
I had been spinning my wheels over Thanksgiving preparations the other day, so my Best Friend took me out for breakfast — a little luxury I never tire of.
Readers’ Forum: Dec. 3, 2013
Prestige chosen over practicality
Tea partiers love country, freedom
Same old clowns
EDITORIAL: For NESC, transparency best option
The five-member board of the Northeast School Corp. of Sullivan County is in the midst of tough times as it faces a difficult decision on the future of its schools, including Union High School in Dugger.
Readers’ Forum: Dec. 2, 2013
‘Ask not …’: Living by the words we speak
MARK BENNETT: ABA’s record proves Bobby Leonard’s a legit Hall of Famer
Bobby Leonard symbolized the feisty competitive flair of the old ABA.
- More Opinion Headlines
- Editorial: Intriguing option for ISU towers