"The best habitat is usually the place where the animal was found. Snappers are one of the latest moving turtles so it is not abnormal to find them this time of year. They have instincts about what they are supposed to do and do spend winters buried in the bottom of ponds and lakes. It seems like they where doing what they should be doing. Young wildlife is always at risk and most baby snappers do not survive to adulthood however if they are going to be successful this is the most important time in their life. It is important that they be returned to their area. If there is a creek very close by you can put them in it otherwise back to the lake would be best as they will probably go there anyway. Many studies have been done that show a turtle will work very hard to get back to where it came from. I know it is difficult to see young wildlife struggle but if we want them to be successful we have to let them learn."
He's that little dark gray blob.
So he's back to where he belongs. The thing is, I knew you weren't supposed to disturb wildlife babies, that generally they are doing what they should be. As soon as we got home with the baby turtle I started thinking oh man, what did I do, I know we should have left him there. But it did seem odd to me that there was a baby so late in the fall--and now we know that this is a normal time to see baby snapping turtles. I've just never seen a turtle around Lake Erie! At least not on the city beaches we frequent.