I live in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. It is Box Turtle season, frequently I see them crossing the road in my neighborhood. I find them in my garden hiding or enjoying a snack. This morning one moved very slowly across my back porch.
This backyard sighting caused me to think…..”Why did the turtle cross the road?”. To get to the other side…. to find a mate. Spring is mating season for turtles and tortoises. The males go on walk a bouts to find a mate, sometimes this means crossing a road. Females will cross roads to find a good spot to lay their eggs.
Sometimes turtles need to spread out to find new habitat. Sadly, this can be because their habitat has been destroyed from development, wildfires or too many threats from other wildlife or humans.
How can you help? NEVER, EVER put yourself in danger. Let the turtle cross if it can do it safely. If you must help, don’t turn it back, it will try to cross again. If you must move it, lift by the back of the shell, never the tail. Don’t move the turtle to a new area, it may roam aimlessly trying to return to its home area.
What to do if you fine a Snapping Turtle or a Soft Shell turtle? These breeds can be extra defensive and bitey, hence the name Snapping Turtle. Use a stick or other long object to gently push the turtle along in the direction it was going.
Finally, let managers and policymakers in your area know you support the installation of culverts and fences that allow turtles to move around.
Diane and Amy are committed to turtle and tortoise rescue and rehabilitation around the world. A percentage of the sales of The Story of Neeps and Tattie will be donated to local rescues to support their efforts.