Turtles are on the move throughout Minnesota, foolishly (or so it seems to humans) looking for that warm sandy soil on the shoulders of roads to lay their eggs. Turtle-car collisions often end in tragedy for the turtle, but Wildwoods Rehabilitation says they're tougher than you might think.
How to move a turtle:
- pick them up mid-shell
- (turtles can pee when startled; don't drop them!)
- move them across the road in the direction they were heading
- don't relocate them; leave them where you found them (just safely on the other side)
- keep the contact minimal
How to move a SNAPPING TURTLE:
- DO NOT pick them up mid-shell (they have long necks)
- DO NOT pick them up by the tail (you can injure or break their spines)
- Use a snow shovel or a broom and gently scoot them across the road in the direction they were heading
- It's best if they can get their under their own power (with a little gentle prodding from you)
If you have occasion to help a turtle cross a road, check out this page on the Minnesota DNR's website and scroll down to the Minnesota Turtle Crossing Tally & Count PDF under "Citizen Science." The information you submit will be used to help determine turtle crossing and mortality areas around the state.