Why Did the Turtle Cross the Road?
East Texas- Why did the turtle cross the road? Most likely because he had to! It’s that time of year again, when we begin to see turtles on roadways. Turtles are mostly seen crossing roads between April and October. In the spring, male turtles are looking for females and territory to claim, while females are looking for places to nest. During the late summer and fall, hatchling turtles are digging up from nests, looking for water, and later on males and females are heading to places to hibernate.
For whatever reasons these turtles are traveling, their destination can take them miles away from the water they live in. With greater human development, turtles must cross more roads. We can help them by taking only a few minutes out of our day to help them safely cross the road.
If you decide to assist a turtle with crossing a road remember:
*Be careful! Turn on your hazards and watch for oncoming traffic.
*When picking up a small turtle, grasp it on either side of its shell behind the front legs.
*If you notice that the turtle has a long tail, DO NOT pick it up. It could be a snapping turtle. And remember what they say about snapping turtles…If one bites you he won’t let go until until he hears thunder or lightning strikes. While that isn’t quite the case, you don’t want to get bitten by a turtle, no matter when he let’s go. Use a blunt object and gently push him across the road in the same direction he was headed.
*Do not relocate the turtle from his home range. Turtles will try to find their way back to their home range and if they can’t find it they will stop eating and wander listlessly.
*Be sure you place the turtle in the SAME direction he was heading as when you picked him up.
*Wave goodbye to the turtle and return to your car
Photo and turtle rescue by @cooperhilton at Holly Lake.