Where the Wild Things Are—ABQ’s Native Animals

Posted by on Jul 23, 2009 in Uncategorized

img_2017After a week of scalding-hot temperatures, we finally had a much-needed downpour—and it was a doozy. There were huge lakes of water at intersections all over the city and the irrigation ditches were roaring, fast and furious.

The day after the rains, I found this teensy little turtle in my backyard. I have never, ever—in my entire time living in ABQ—found a peripatetic turtle, anywhere. He was about the size of two half-dollars and moved fast (that fairy-tale stuff about the tortoise and the hare? Not necessarily based in fact). Did he show up because of the rain? If so, why? Where did he come from? How on earth did he get over my patio wall?

One of the interesting things about our city is that we really are surrounded by wildlife. It’s not out of the ordinary to see coyotes, hawks, raccoons and more over the course of a normal day. We even have organizations, such as Wildlife Rescue of New Mexico, to help wild animals when our urban lifestyle invades their territory—which, as the city grows, is more and more important.

Have you had a wildlife encounter in ABQ? (And if you have any turtle facts for me, I’ll take ’em!)


  1. DChav
    July 23, 2009

    One time this crazed goose hissed and snapped at me as I attempted to cross his path.  My dog witnessed my girlish whimpering, and now tends to glare at me in distain.

  2. RangerRick
    July 23, 2009

    That handsomely rugged shield of armor on his back is essentially a fused rib cage. Plates of keratin comprise the shell’s sensitive outer layer, which is the same substance that makes up claws and fur in other wild beasts.

  3. Jojo
    July 23, 2009

    I’ve had great wildlife encounters here in the Q–from seeing squirrels steal feed away from the birds at the feeder to watching a lone wolf jogging down by the bosque. It’s one of the great things about living in a place like this, tha tyou can have the urban feel with a wild bent.

  4. Michael Cusortelli
    July 27, 2009

    Lexi, I saw a jackrabbit hopping around on an arroyo trial just east of the Cherry Hills branch of the Albq. Public Library.

    He/she seemed to enjoy the hot weather — at least a lot better than I did — and was scampering about without a care!