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Haycock rescues snapping turtle

While a very large snapping turtle found stopping in the middle of the intersection of Old Bethlehem Road and Apple Road in Haycock Township appeared to be appealing to its cold-blooded metabolism in the late morning July sun, fellow resident Paul Tese was sure it was a bad idea.
As related during the Road Report at the township’s Aug. 3 public board of supervisors meeting, various coaxing techniques to get the chelonian to move on, including broom-wielding efforts by Mrs. Tese, were not effective. Accordingly, Township Roadmaster Dave Long, who is also the unofficial naturalist, was summoned.
Long lifted the turtle by its tail, a technique noted by Supervisor Chair Kathy Babb as not for amateurs, and transported it to Lake Towhee, where it was released. He noted it was one of the largest snappers he had ever seen, estimating its weight at about 30 pounds, and at that size, probably about 50 years old. He assumed that at this time of the year, it was a female on an egg-laying mission.
Long was also recently summoned, this time by a fellow employee, to move another sunning reptile, a six-foot black snake, from the municipal building property to the nearby woods, where it could continue on mouse and rat duty. He noted this black snake was the much nastier “racer” type, not the more benign “rat” type, and shared a video of moving it first by its tail and then by its head, while it tried to attack his legs. While not poisonous, he said racers “had a lot of teeth,” including curved fangs for better hanging on.
Also at the Aug. 3 meeting, during his Covid-19 update, Supervisor Henry DePue said that the rural township, which had a population of 2,191 from the 2000 census, had only had “one or two” cases since the onset of the pandemic, and none at the present time. While information on the severity of the cases was not known, officials said they thought they would have heard if the cases had been fatal, or had required hospitalization.
Babb reported that officials had determined the popular Haycock Township Community Center still needed to remain closed, as the county struggles with the recent increase in cases. At their July 6 public meeting, supervisors authorized the purchase and installation of a new water storage and delivery system for the center.
They also authorized proper removal and disposal of the present large water tank, which dated back to the original construction of the Haycock Elementary School in the 1950s. The tank’s asbestos insulation, which was not in contact with the water, mandated the special handling. The total cost of the project is to be about $11,350.