A Village of Osgoode resident was surprised enough to witness a large snapping turtle laying her eggs last June, but he was even more surprised because she was laying them right beside the town’s Main Street.
Vince MacDonell spotted the turtle when he was driving through the village, which is in the rural south end of Ottawa. He is now waiting for the baby turtles to hatch, visiting them several times a day.
"[It was] a pretty big snapper, about a foot and a half across. [I] thought it may have been hit. We pulled over, had a look at it, and we watched it. It kept going up and down, and up and down. Then, all of a sudden, we see it start to — it shot out an egg, and then all of a sudden another egg," MacDonell said.
He said he'd never seen anything like it before. Fortunately, he had his camera with him.
"She allowed me to get very, very close to her, and this is a big snapping turtle. I mean, they can take your fingers off, no problem. I've seen them in action," MacDonell said.
He said the whole process took about two hours, and he stopped counting the eggs at 50.
"It's just surprising, because it's right along the edge of Osgoode Main Street. You don't expect to see a snapping turtle giving birth right there," he said.
It takes about 80 days for snapping turtle eggs to hatch, that means it should happen any day now.
MacDonell had been checking on them once a week. But, recently, he has started visiting them three or four times a day, hoping to be there when they hatch.
"I'm all set. I've got the cigars ready here to pass out. I feel like I'm about to be a proud father," he said.
When the turtles hatch, they should head right into the ditch. Just in case, he is asking his neighbours to drive carefully in the area.