Met this Florida Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina bauri) in a friend’s backyard during my visit to Atlantic Beach this past weekend. Like the one I encountered a couple of years ago, he was quick to closeup.
Endemic to this state, they are now considered a vulnerable species due to rapid habitat loss. While common in the pet trade, Florida has instituted a two turtle limit per household (unless you have a special permit).
As for the gender of the turtle, I observed a slight concave dip in the plastron which typically indicates a male (though I could be wrong). Don’t worry, I gently returned him to his spot under a bush after the photoshoot was over.
I can imagine him telling his story to fellow turtles, “Dude, this one time I was abducted by aliens. I went flying through the air – super fast. And when I woke up I was back in same spot. Maybe I was hallucinating, maybe it was something I ate?”