As we tramp around the Broad Branch stream site on September 23rd, we have another reason to pay close attention to our surroundings. Marlene Berlin recently contacted Mary Rowse, monitor of the Chevy Chase listserv, about posting the information about the site walk. Mary replied with a request that the Forest Hills Connection post information about a missing pet turtle. Mary writes:
Help Search for Murtle the Turtle
Please keep an eye out for a 30-year-old Eastern Box Turtle named “Murtle,” who was mistakenly released into Rock Creek Park on August 27 near the stream off the 27th Street bridge, between Military and Broad Branch Road. A group formed a search team, which went out with and without a pet tracker, but it did not find him.
Murtle has red eyes and so is probably a male. He’s missing his beak and generally uses only three legs although he has four. His right rear leg may be kept under because of a nail problem. He is very friendly to humans and before he was brought to Rock Creek Park, had approached a number of people he met. If you see Murtle, the best way to pick up a turtle is by gently placing both hands underneath him giving him a solid platform. Carry him securely and right side up; the internal organs of a turtle are sensitive and easily damaged.
Someone found him at the 41st and Livingston Street NW park and didn’t realize he was a land turtle and had been a family pet for 30 years. They thought he belonged near water, so they took Murtle to Rock Creek Park and placed him on a rock, which he slid off of into the water. He was last seen paddling down the stream. We’re hopeful he swam to shore and is still in the park, but until we find him we won’t know for sure. We know that he would hibernate in his back yard from November to March so we’re thinking he may do the same in the park.
If anyone wants to join a search team for Murtle or has a dog that might be able to search for Murtle after picking up his scent on some items he used, please contact Dorothea Brady at 202-244-1682. If you want to go out and look by yourself, we suggest carrying gloves and a towel to pick him up and a sturdy bag of some sort.