It's That Time of the Year to Save a Turtle! John Latimer Tells Us Why

Jun 9, 2021

 

On The Tuesday Morning Show this week we talked about turtles in Minnesota right now - how we should and how we can help 

Here’s a few things to keep in mind on How to help turtles cross the road:
  • Don't put yourself or others in danger. Pull off the road and turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers to slow down. Check your surroundings and be careful of traffic.

  • Same direction! Always move turtles in the same direction they were traveling when encountered. Turtles should always be moved across roadways in as direct a line as possible. Do not take them to a nearby lake or pond, that may not be where they were going.

  • Avoid excessive handling. Take a quick look, snap a photo and then release the turtle quickly in a safe spot.

  • Allow unassisted crossings if possible. When turtles can safely cross roads unaided due to a lack of oncoming traffic, let them do so. Observe from a distance and avoid rapid movements, as doing otherwise will often cause turtles to change direction, stop or hide within their shells.

  • Handle turtles gently. If it's necessary to pick them up, all turtles except snappers and softshells should be grasped gently along the shell edge near the midpoint of the body. Warning: Many turtles empty their bladder when lifted off the ground, so be careful not to drop them if they should suddenly start peeing.

  • Document your find. Help wildlife experts document turtle crossing and mortality areas by participating in the Minnesota Turtle Crossing Tally & Count Project. Go to herpmapper.org and register to file your findings. Report roadways where turtles are crossing or are dead on the road.

  • Build a nest cage to protect turtle eggs and later, hatchlings, if turtles are nesting on your property. Find instructions and a step-by-step video for a nest cage that allows hatchlings to exit but keeps predators like raccoons and skunks out.