Anxiously Awaiting Baby Turtles!

Eastern Box Turtle burrying eggs

Mamma turtle burying her eggs.

We’re excited an Eastern Box Turtle has chosen a special spot in our Tree & Shrub department to bury her eggs!  This area will be flagged off so that it will not be disturbed.  The Eastern Box Turtle is the state reptile of North Carolina!  According to the National Zoo’s website we can expect about 4-5 babies in three months but possibly as few as three or as many as eight.  Nests are usually dug in sandy or loamy soil, using the hind legs. Then eggs are laid in this cavity and the nest is carefully covered up again. Eggs are elliptical with thin, white, flexible shells. The female lays several clutches each year. Incubation normally lasts three months (which puts a possible due date of September 15th!) but this varies according to soil temperature and moisture.

If you see this turtle incubation area while you’re strolling along the walkway in Trees & Shrubs, please don’t disturb them!

Update:  Two baby turtles emerged on Sept. 4th.  See the baby pictures here!