The Loneliness of Animals

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The Loneliness of Animals

I don’t think I know what it feels like I
know I don’t            to drag one’s self so
 
slowly “like a zombie” down a cracked
hard, rock-cut creek bed     in Illinois
 
to be lifted    still churning one’s legs
to be the subject of such testing:
 
to be found to be Macrochelys
temminckii    from one’s own fine blood-
 
line, by DNA    of the genus
Chelydra    a la Coenraad Jacob
 
Temminck        “native to a region that
makes up the northernmost end of the
 
species’ range”: and now a real shock to
biologist Chris Phillips, who’d been
 
diving    hoping to find he said one
“male alligator snapping turtle
 
with a transmitter on its back,” last
one precisely     he’d previously
 
released in the area with hopes
“of spurring population growth”:
 
not this    female     at 22 pounds
“way bigger than expected,” spring-like
 
neck dorsal ridges “like some plated
dinosaur”    so he held her     Ethan
 
Kessler grad student    just so as he
was taught     for the photo hand behind
 
her head hand to the side along her
shell-back: ginger    not to lose a thumb
 
to her steel-trap jaws “the turtle’s mouth
is camouflaged, and it possesses
 
a vermiform (i.e., ‘worm-shaped’) ap-
pendage at the tip of its tongue                                                          

to lure fish”    by imitating movements
of a worm, “drawing prey to the mouth”;
 
adds Wikipedia    and they do
not make particularly good pets:
 
so when they “reintroduced” her back
into the wild:    by which, I think, they
 
mean dredged rivers drained swamps small wood-runs
culverts check dams and irrigation-

crop-circle-exurbs     her battery-
transmitter died    immediately:
 
and “finding her in the waters’ depths
again might take 30 years.” Let’s hope so.