Turtles are cold-blooded animals that require a heat source in order to maintain body temperature. Eggs are laid at various times of the year. Often turtles are the victims of
accidents on the road. If one has been hit or has sustained trauma, keep the turtle warm and deliver to the WMC as soon as possible. Other indications for treatment are: abnormal or asymmetric swellings on the head, legs, or tail, shell rot (eroded, discolored shell), nasal discharge, or a broken beak.
Snakes are also cold-blooded. The young can be born live or hatch from eggs, depending on the species of snake. Snakes are not active in the winter. Any snake found outside during the winter, especially when there is snow cover, has compromised health and should be brought into the WMC for treatment. Caution must be exercised when dealing with snakes as there are venomous species in Illinois; however, all but the Eastern Massasauga live in the southern third of the state. Some species of non-venomous snakes, such as the king snake and eastern fox snake, display mimicry by using their tails as a rattle; these are more likely to be found in east-central Illinois.