Six Ways to Help a Turtle Cross the Road Safely in Maine
Turtle Crossing in the County
We’ve all seen turtles crossing the busy roads in Aroostook County. Many of us have stopped to lend them a hand to help keep them safe.
The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife said there are a couple of reasons why turtles cross the roadways this time of year. Turtles get on the move to breed and find food. Also, in late Spring and early Summer, the female turtles are looking for a place to nest.
When you stop to help a turtle, there are some good guidelines to follow..
Six Ways You Can Help a Turtle
1 - Be careful of other vehicles when you pull over. Make sure you park in a safe area for your own safety and for the safety of others.
2- Yes, turtles bite and it hurts. Wardens suggest letting the turtle cross on its own with you “standing guard.” Or, use your car mat. Put it under the turtle and slide them across to the other side.
3 - Take the turtle in the direction it was heading. Turtles will try again to get where they are going if you turn them around. that just puts them right back on the street.
4 - Pick the turtle up by the shell to avoid getting bitten. Snapping turtles have reach and can get to your hands if you are not careful. Hold the sides of the shell.
5 - Don’t adopt the turtle and take it home. Think of the future generations of turtles.
6 - Take a picture of the turtle. You play a very important role in documenting the process. Send the information to the Maine Amphibian and Reptile Atlas Project. This helps keep track of the turtles and their movements.
Take the Pledge
The Wardens Service also has a pledge that will help you remember to do the right thing.
For more information about the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, visit their Facebook page.
Thanks for keeping our wildlife happy in the great state of Maine.