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Turtle murder mystery

Terrapene carolina


For all you CSI fans! Victim: Eastern box turtle; Location of remains: wedged 5' up in the fork of a tree; Scene of crime: our woods; Prime suspects: Raccoon? Red-tail hawk?


The light was too poor to get a shot of the carapace still in the tree & I had forgotten to bring crime scene tape so I moved it out of the woods to get a better photo. The carapace is about 6" long & there were no other remains that I could see close to the scene of the crime! I would welcome any ideas on possible suspects!

1 species ID suggestions

Eastern Box Turtle
Terrapene carolina


KarenL 4 years ago

Not gross bella, just nature!

bella 4 years ago


Hema Shah
Hema Shah 5 years ago

HaHa! :)

KarenL 5 years ago

Thanks Emma! And it looks like the perpetrator flew! :)

Hema Shah
Hema Shah 5 years ago

@ Karen ,if you found this turtle in a tree ,that again is strongly pro Hawk.
The Hawk done it. poor turtle!

KarenL 5 years ago

Emma, I think you are right & the culprit was a raptor as we are a fair distance from water here but we do see Red-Tailed & Coopers hawks regularly. I wonder what went through the poor little guy's mind when he started 'flying'!

Thanks Ivan! It was quite a surprise - I never expected to find a turtle in a tree!

KarenL 5 years ago

Thanks for the ID John!

Ivan Rodriguez
Ivan Rodriguez 5 years ago

Almost the same thing happened here in Arizona! The only difference is that the turtle I found had the bottom part of its shell pierced by something, maybe a javelina. Good luck figuring out what happened! :)

Hema Shah
Hema Shah 5 years ago

Scooped clean like a kiwi fruit! usually birds of prey would be the first suspect. I have seen crows eating birds and wiping them that clean.

KarenL 5 years ago

Carol, I only saw the edge of the carapace at first & thought it was some kind of fungus until I touched it! Ww are quite a ways from any water so I'm thinking maybe it got carried here by a hawk?

CarolSnowMilne 5 years ago

Oh wow!

Tennessee, USA

Lat: 35.90, Long: -86.96

Spotted on Dec 20, 2011
Submitted on Dec 20, 2011


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