Now that the warm weather has returned, turtles are on the move for mating season and nesting. If you’re out driving, watch for turtles in the road and know how to help them across, if needed.
Watching for Turtles in the Road
Turtles are on the move especially now through July for their mating season and to travel to and from their nesting sites. If you see a turtle in the road, slow down and approach with caution. Turtles can be hard to spot, so keep your eyes peeled for any kind of lump or irregularity in the road. If the turtle is small, you can pick it up and carry it to the other side of the road in the direction it was heading.
It’s important not to take a turtle away from the area where you find it and if you move it across the road, to take it in the direction it was heading in. Turtles spend their lives in a very small diameter of territory. If you remove it too far from its territory, it can die or be killed by competing wildlife. If it has a nest, you might also move it too far from the nest and its eggs or babies can be eaten by predators.
Helping a Snapping Turtle Cross the Road
If it’s a larger turtle or a snapping turtle, you can use a stick or your shoe to gently nudge it in the direction you want it to go. If you encounter a snapping turtle, be extra careful. These turtles can be aggressive, so it’s best to leave them alone if possible. If you can safely do so, stop any traffic on the road and give the turtle time to cross. Giving them the chance to cross unassisted is best. If you absolutely must move them due to traffic or safety reasons, use a long stick to nudge them from a safe distance.
Help turtles across the road whenever you can, but never put yourself in danger. Simply by slowing down and pulling over with your hazards on can alert other drivers to be cautious. Turtles are an important part of the local ecosystem so protect them as they cross whenever it is safe to do so or help them across when necessary. If you have a difficult turtle situation on your hands, Pee Dee Wildlife Control can help!