I had seen it about twenty yards away almost a week ago, before I left for the Azores. It looked OK but was moving lethargically.
As you can see from the photo above, it was now missing some scutes.
When it failed to move much during the day, I called Conserve Wildlife Foundation, which suggested I contact the Woodlands Wildlife Refuge, who said:
- The missing scutes are a good thing -- the turtle is molting.
- The turtle may be hungry and dehydrated, so they suggest I feed it some worms and put water out in a very shallow tray. I did.
I walked back to the site a half-hour later and the turtle was gone.
I later learned that the turtle had accidentally been trapped in a garage for several days.
The advice may have saved its life.
Thanks, Woodlands Wildlife Refuge! Link is here.