Totally Turtle-y Taxidermy

Preserved Donation of Aquatic Animal Fits in Swimmingly at UMD

Terps weren’t the only kind of turtle taking the field as the University of Maryland men’s lacrosse team hosted Navy seven decades ago.

Before the April 1952 game, J.L. Enyart, captain and commanding officer of the Naval Medical School, donated a huge, taxidermied hawksbill sea turtle to UMD. The Maryland fan, who had done some graduate coursework here, acquired the creature when living in Guam in the 1930s, and rather than let it collect dust in his garage, he thought it would fit right in among the Terrapins in College Park.

Enyart’s preserved specimen resided in the Gossett Football Team House before being transferred to University Archives in 2002, but forgive anyone who avoids looking directly into the animal’s eyes. The googly, glassy peepers—not real, of course—give new meaning to the phrase “Fear the Turtle.”


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