Brake for turtles

Brake for turtles Click to Enlarge Photo: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

(KNSI) - Female turtles are searching near and far for suitable nesting areas, which often means crossing roads. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is reminding drivers to watch for turtles and allow them to cross the road safely.

Moving at a turtle's pace, many are often hit and killed while crossing roads. According to the DNR, roadway mortality is believed to be a major factor in turtle population declines throughout the United States.

Helping turtles safely cross roads can help preserve Minnesota's turtle population. The DNR suggests allowing unassisted road crossings, but if necessary to pick them up, all turtles except snappers and softshells should be grasped gently along the shell edge near the mid point of the body. If a snapping turtle or softshell are encountered, a car mat can be used to pull the turtle across the road in the direction they were traveling.

Turtles injured while crossing the road may be taken to your nearest permitted wildlife rehabilitator.

For more information on Minnesota's nine species of turtles go to dnr.state.mn.us.

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