Nebraskans have voted online for their nominee for state reptile, and the clear winner was the ornate box turtle. Probably not a surprise; the slow-moving creature, with its yellow-streaked shell, is one of the nation’s most familiar four-legged critters.
Now the Game and Parks Commission will send the results to Nebraska lawmakers for a possible official vote on whether to make this new addition to a Nebraska state-symbol pantheon that includes goldenrod and the Western meadowlark.
In other turtle news, Game and Parks and a specialist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are puzzling over how a rare Blanding’s turtle turned up near Scottsbluff, more than 100 miles west of its known habitat. Was it moved by a curious tourist? Did it become disoriented or adventurous? Or was it disappointed its dapper cousin, the box turtle, won the vote for state reptile?
Perhaps we’ll never know.