Snapping turtle shacks up in Sea Cliff

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A few weeks ago, the Reidy family found a critter shacking up in their side yard. It wasn’t your standard squirrel or basic bird, but a snapping turtle. Christine Reidy told the Herald Gazette that upon discovery of the slow-moving snapper, it proceeded to dig a hole in the ground. There, it laid 30 eggs.

“Our children were completely in awe,” Reidy said. “The turtle looked so huge to them, and they couldn’t believe that it was able to lay all those eggs. They watched the whole thing; it took over an hour.” Reidy said she believes the turtle came from Scudder’s Pond, as it’s the only freshwater body within the vicinity of their Sea Cliff home.

The family fortified the nesting ground to protect the tiny turtles. With the help of their neighbors, they surrounded the area with large stones and bricks to create a perimeter, and laid a mesh net over the eggs. “What we read is the eggs usually end up getting eaten by skunks and raccoons,” Reidy said, “and that’s supposed to protect them.”

Reidy’s daughters — Anna, Julia and Maura — also drew a handmade sign to hang near the nest. It reads, “Be aware: turtle eggs under the net. Watch out for the baby snapping turtles; they can bite your finger off.”

Reidy said the baby turtles would be ready to hatch near the end of August.

— Alyssa Seidman