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Blanding's Turtle Missing From DeKalb Forest Preserve

(CBS) -- It may be the last of its kind in DeKalb County: a turtle that's classified as threatened in Illinois is missing from a DeKalb forest preserve.

As recently as the 1960s or '70s, Blanding's turtles populated DeKalb County and a lot of other parts of the state.


Since then, with habitat lost, the population is way down and when DeKalb County found a Blanding's turtle two years ago, they decided to put a tracking device and antenna on it.

Until a well-intentioned farmer removed it this year, thinking the turtle had been pierced with a wire.

Al Roloff, natural resources director at the DeKalb Forest Preserve, found out about that and paid the farmer a visit.

"When I got out of the truck, I think he knew who I was right away, and he said, 'I'm not in trouble, am I?' And I said, 'No, no.' He was just trying to do a good deed and that's kind of the way it worked out."

Blanding' s turtle
(Credit: Emmylou Studier)

Roloff says the turtle is most likely in search of a mate.

And he says the chances of him finding a mate and the chances of the forest preserve ever tracking the turtle again are both slim.

And if you see him?

"Don't run over it."

And don't try to make him a pet, Roloff says. Blanding's turtles make bad pets.

Call the DeKalb County Forest Preserve, 815-895-7191.

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