What to do if you encounter a turtle crossing the road


A red-eared slider

It’s that time of year again when the turtles are out and about looking for places to lay their eggs. If you are driving and happen upon a turtle trying to cross a road, you can help (ONLY IF it is safe for you to pull off and get out of your car! Be careful!)

The best thing to do is to pick up the turtle and move it in the direction it was headed. Do not return it where it came from as it will only try to cross again. To pick up a turtle grab it in the middle of its shell, spreading your hands across the shell. In this position, the turtle cannot get its bony beak around to bite you.

Do not try to move the turtle to a “safer” or “better” place as turtles have an incredible homing instinct that causes them to try to return to the place where they hatched from their eggs. Moving them will only cause them to have to encounter more obstacles in their quest to return “home.”

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  1. By Weekly Puzzler Answer #141 on December 17, 2016 at 9:32 am

    […] turtles venture out of water to lay their eggs. (Here’s what to do if you find a turtle crossing the road) Females lay a single clutch in sandy soil, with 25-45 eggs. These look just like ping pong balls! […]