Letter - Save a turtle - help it cross roadWhy do turtles cross the road? In June, painted and snapping turtles cross roads to find nesting spots. Often their nesting spots are separated from water by roads and they can travel up to one-half mile from water to find the right spot.
To the editor:
Why do turtles cross the road? In June, painted and snapping turtles cross roads to find nesting spots. Often their nesting spots are separated from water by roads and they can travel up to one-half mile from water to find the right spot.
Did you know that the female Chelydra Serpentina, the common snapping turtle, matures slowly and doesn’t starting laying eggs until they are 5 to 7 years old, and a minimum length of 10 inches. On average, the adult’s upper shell is 8 to 14 inches and weighs between 10 to 35 pounds.
The adult turtle’s most common predator is man.
Why do people run over turtles crossing roads? My thoughts are: teen drivers think it’s funny, snapping turtles are ugly, mean and scary, people are distracted while driving, and sometimes you just can’t avoid the turtle for human safety (for this reason, I forgive you).
It angers me to see turtles lying crushed on the road. We should be awe struck by the size of some of the snapping turtles we see crossing the road. Think about how many years it took for that turtle to achieve its size. For that reason alone, we should steer clear of the turtle in the road.
Help save a turtle. If you see a turtle crossing the road, you can help it cross safely. Watch for traffic. Pick up the turtle by the back of its shell (never pick up a turtle by its tail) and move the turtle in the direction it is heading. I move turtles to safety whenever I can.
Visit www.dnr.state.mn.us for more information about turtles, I did.