Saturday, August 23, 2014

Hellbender Survey on Whites Creek 8-22-23

 Lee University students set traps for hellbenders on Friday evening. The  plan was to camp out but dine in town. On the way back from supper they encountered a copperhead on the walk up to the camp. While looking at the copperhead they learned, much to the painful revelation of student Sam, that there were actually two copperheads.  Sam was bitten on the ankle. He was taken to the hospital and released. We'll check on him and let you know, but as a 220 man he is probably going to hurt a bit and be fine. Pepper, a 20 dog was bitten on the nose and did fine with a shot of Benadryl and some pain meds. The wilderness has its dangers , but they are well worth it. Sam is the first person I know of that has gotten tasted by a copperhead in White Creek gorge. We see them a lot.

A student checks one of the traps.

Striped musk turtles ruled the day with this trap holding 15!This is a baby with the pronounced ridge on its back. The theory is that it makes it harder for predators to eat them.
They can stay underwater indefinitely by opening their mouths and extending their necks to absorb oxygen from the water. They were all released and watched until they recovered fully and went about their business.

No hellbenders!

WE keep looking, though!