How to Help a Turtle Cross The Road
If you want to help a turtle cross the road, there are some things you should know first.
It's turtle season folks. Well not really, but this is the time of year when you'll see turtles more frequently. It's likely you'll even see a turtle by a road, or in the midst of crossing a road. We all know that turtles are slow and cars are very fast. So if you want to help some wildlife this year, help a turtle cross the road.
There are important safety tips to keep you and the turtle safe that must be followed. Lifehacker has some really good insight for how to help a turtle cross the road safely:
1. Always pull your car over to the shoulder of the road or off-road safely.
Make sure to put on your flashers as you do this and look all around for traffic. Make sure to be alert for traffic and never risk your life to do this.
2. If you find a turtle that is injured, call a local wildlife rehabilitation center
If there is a turtle with a cracked shell or is bleeding do not touch it and call the local wildlife rehab centers.
3. Pick up the turtle from the back
Never pick up a turtle from the front near the head because it could bite you. Stray from the mid-region of the shell too because some turtles, like snapping turtles, have necks long enough to reach around and bite you. Always grab with two hands from the back.
4. Never pick up a turtle by the tail
A turtle's spine goes from the neck all the way to the tail, so picking it up from the tail could dislocate the spine and injure the turtle.
5. If the turtle is too big to lift, try placing it on a car mat
Some turtles get pretty big and could be too heavy to carry. If so, try using a car mat or a flat surface like cardboard to move it. Grab the turtle by from the back as if you were to pick it up, but drag it carefully onto the car mat. From there, drag your new car mat-turtle combo to safety.
6. Move the turtle in the direction it was going
This turtle was on a mission and wanted to get to that other side for whatever reason. It could be to lay eggs. If you don't move the turtle the direction it was going, it will likely try to go that way again and put someone else in the position of needing to help them. If you see a turtle on the move, just help it move faster and safer.
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