Road Signs to Help Maine’s Endangered Turtles
A few days ago I pulled over to avoid hitting a snapping turtle. A truck in the opposite lane also pulled over- more to see what I was staring at- but we both just sat there, not knowing what to do… I quickly realized that the other driver and I were thinking the same thing- "No way in hell am I helping that thing…"
I admit- I'm a wuss and I enjoy having fingers. I shouted to the truck "I'm not picking him up" - the other driver snapped back with a laugh "neither am I!" We slowly made it back into our respective lanes and drove off. I never found out what happened to the turtle. I can only assume that some poor soul bravely wrestled the snapper to a nearby water source- hopefully they managed to walk away with all of their digits still in tact.
The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, along with the Nature Conservancy, is asking motorists in southern York County to keep an eye out for rare turtles crossing area roads. As part of their effort you'll see new road signs going up alerting you and I to turtle crossing areas.
It turns out that May through July is a critical period when Maine's female turtles say a prayer and attempt car dodging to reach nesting areas. This doesn't always end well for the turtle.
The obvious goal of the signs is to save the lives of at least a few turtles a year- that's if you don't hit one while reading the sign and thinking 'is that a turtle crossing sign?'