The title in this article is actually a slang term in the USA. It refers to going into a very defensive posture whether it is physically, mentally, or emotionally. Usually it refers to the physical position of curling into a ball with your face down and covering your neck with your hands and arms.
But that isn’t what this post is about. I mean the two words exactly as they appear.
This past Sunday I took my girls to a birthday party for a friend at a park near their home. The park had access to some shallow areas in a river to swim in. All in all the day was quite fun even though my hubby couldn’t make it. He was a bit wiped out from doing a major project but that’s a different story.
When we were there, the individual in the picture below (cropped the photo to protect his identity) decided to show off what he had found. He took the turtle in the picture from the river and walked around showing it off. I am not going to question his intentions. I am going to question his judgment.
Let me first answer a question going through your mind. What kind of turtle is that? It is a common snapping turtle found throughout Wisconsin waterways. All snapping turtles have a few features in common. First, they eat fish. Second, they snap with a rather sharp beak. Third, they do not like being handled. Fourth, they are quite aggressive especially out of water. Fifth, they can cause a fair amount of bodily damage.
Rule of thumb: Let them alone.
If you have to, this website tells you how to pick them up. You are supposed to carry it by the back most portion of the upper shell. If you have to, the base of the tail is the next option but that comes with a big BUT. It will likely cause the turtle pain.
This guy didn’t do any of the above as you can see in the picture. Instead he grabbed it by the back part of the tail and held it that way. Basically, he was causing harm to an already pissed-off, aggressive turtle that was willing to bite anything in reach. If you think it wouldn’t hurt, try having someone lift you up by one foot and see how your ankle feels afterwards.
Next time dude, take a picture. Don’t risk injury to yourself and others for a show-and-tell stunt.
Turtle down is better than turtle up in this case.