Nova Scotia

Shelley the turtle nests in Debert golf course sand trap ... again

A snapping turtle named Shelley has laid eggs in a sand trap on the seventh hole at the Debert Golf Club in Colchester County, N.S., for the second time.

Snapping turtle has laid eggs for 2 straight years at the 7th hole at the Debert Golf Club

Shelley is shown in the sand trap on the seventh hole at the Debert Golf Club. (Submitted by the Debert Golf Club)

A soon-to-be mother turtle has once again made a nest out of a sand trap on the seventh hole at the Debert Golf Club in Colchester County, N.S.

Mark Webb, the manager of the club, said the turtle was brought to the club a year ago after his friend saw it almost get hit by a car while crossing a road.

"He jumped out and put it in the back of his half-ton [truck] and then gave me a call to see if we wanted a turtle at the golf course," Webb told CBC's Maritime Noon on Tuesday.

Webb said yes because there are two ponds near the seventh hole that would be an ideal spot for the turtle, whom he later named Shelley.

He said Shelley dug a hole and laid eggs in the sand trap just days after arriving at the golf club. He estimates Shelley laid six eggs — two eggs were found and two turtles were spotted.

"And one golfer had [also] noticed two [turtles] were coming out of the hole so he came and got me," Webb said.

"And sure enough, there were two at the bottom of the sand trap walking around, so I picked them up and carried them a little close to the edge of the water and they made their way into the water."

Golf club manager Mark Webb sayes when Shelley was brought to the club initially, he and others thought the turtle was a male and named it Sheldon. When she laid eggs, her name was changed to Shelley. (Submitted by the Debert Golf Club)

After that, because of infrequent sightings, Webb said people thought Shelley had moved on — that is, until she reemerged this year to again lay eggs in the sand trap.

To protect her eggs, Webb roped off an area in the sand trap and added a large sign advising golfers to pick the ball up and move it if it lands in the sand trap.

Webb said it's unclear how many eggs Shelley laid this time, but he expects they'll hatch some time in the fall.

"I've seen a couple popping out, so I took some sand and threw it over top just to cover them up again [from birds and golfers]," Webb said.

Photos encouraged

He said the eggs are about the same size as golf balls.

Shelley and her eggs have been the talk of the golf club and Webb said she has been good for business.

In the meantime, golfers are advised to stay away from the eggs. But if they see any hatched turtles wandering around, photos are encouraged.

With files from CBC's Maritime Noon


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