Help Turtles Safely Cross the Road

Why did the turtle cross the road?

We may never know the answer, but nevertheless, drivers can do their part to help these turtles make the journey safely by pulling over and lending a hand.

Wild Instincts, a wildlife rescue in Rhinelander, does many shell repairs for turtles that are hit by vehicles during the egg laying season.

“The smaller painted turtles can just be picked up and brought to the side of the road they were headed for,” advised Mark Naniot, Director of Rehabilitation. “Larger snapping turtles require a little more caution.”

Place a blanket over snapping turtles and carry it while avoiding the head. Another method is to place something underneath them, such as a a sheet, blanket, car mat, or piece of cardboard, and drag them in the direction they were going.

“Snappers have long necks and should not be picked up by the tail as they still may be able to reach you. Also it is not good for the turtle,” said Naniot. “If you have a Rubbermaid container or a box, you can lay it on its side and scoot the turtle into it with the cover or something so you don’t have to touch it. It can then be moved to a safer area.”

If a passerby decides to assist a turtle, they should use caution in avoiding traffic and find a safe place to park. Turtles should always be moved in the direction they were headed, and should not be relocated to a new area.