SHERWOOD – State wildlife officials are investigating the cause of a large number of turtles that have descended on Sherwood this week.
The turtles are a variety of species, primarily common snapping and box turtles. Estimates show that approximately 3-600,000 turtles have invaded the area causing damage to lawns, cars, and even attacking the toes of a number of individuals.
“Our emergency room has been full of people involved in turtle attacks,” St. Vincent Medical Center chief medical officer April O’Neal tells us. “They are missing toes, fingers from trying to remove the turtles, and one Irish-American man came in with a missing nose after he tried to kiss one for good luck. We have not seen this many in the ER since the Jones family attempted to hold a massive box sledding party.”
Local police have so far refused to involve themselves in the situation, and insist it is a job for wildlife officers. A brief written statement from the Sherwood police cites “no immediate threat to public safety. The turtles are traveling well under the posted speed limit, and until they exceed that limit we see no need for police involvement.”
The lack of police involvement has caused many citizens and visitors to the town to take matters into their own hands.
“You almost have to treat it like a zombie invasion,” Little Rock resident Jenny Neubauer, who found herself trapped by a group of over 40 turtles while visiting friends in Sherwood Tuesday night, tells us. “Go for the head, body shots do absolutely nothing. They are not so dangerous individually, but it escalates quickly when you become surrounded by several dozen.”
Wildlife officials have several theories on the influx of turtles to the area. An extremely high spawning period in Northern Arkansas combined with unseasonably warm temperatures over the past several days appears to have attracted the turtles out of their normal habitats.
A return to cold temperatures, expected by next week, should cause the turtles to retreat. Due to the recent inaccuracies in weather forecasting, officials advise residents to prepare for an extended invasion.