Baby Female Box Turtle ( Terrapene carolina ) -- Bingham, IL
This is Tilly, the teeny, tiny, turtle, who I found in a deep nest of leaves under a big oak tree while I was hunting for morel mushrooms in southern Illinois. She was very calm and gentle, but understandably a bit shy. And she was so tiny that she fit in the palm of my hand (see the photo I posted as the first comment on this post). I took a few photos and then put her back in her cozy little nest.

If you find a box turtle in the wild, please do not take it home as a pet. Getting it out of harms way, such as moving a turtle from the middle of the road to the other side (in the direction it was headed), is okay, but please never remove these precious and long-lived creatures from their native habitat if they are otherwise healthy and happy. Thanks.

From Wikipedia:

"Turtle and tortoise societies recommend against box turtles as pets for small children. Box turtles are easily stressed by over-handling and require more care than is generally thought. Box turtles get stressed when moved into new surroundings. Some specimens will wander aimlessly until they die trying to find their original home if they are removed from the exact area they grew up in. Collecting box turtles from the wild may damage their populations, as these turtles have a low reproduction rate."
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