Turtle Tips

Roads are the number one cause of turtle mortality inIStopForTurtles
Ontario. Five out of six Haliburton County turtle species are
Species at Risk. Now more than ever turtles need us to be
more aware while driving.

If you see a turtle on the road, here’s how you can help:

  • First and most importantly, keep your own safety and the safety of other drivers in mind. Don’t take unnecessary risks!
  • Always move a turtle in the direction in which it was traveling.
  • NEVER pick up a turtle by the tail; you could cause a serious spinal injury!
  • To carry a turtle, lift it a minimal distance from the road. Walk in a crouched position, so it doesn’t have as far to fall.
  • Most turtles can be moved by simply grasping them by the sides of the shell. However a large snapping turtle may need special handling – here are a few tips
    • A snapping turtle can’t reach the back third of its shell, so grip them by the shell, above the back legs.
    • They also can’t reach under their shells, so try to get behind them and slip an hand underneath to carry them “platter” style. Be sure to keep a good grip on the back of the shell, too.
    • If a snapper keeps turning to face you, find a green stick or something similar, and put it near the face. They should snap for that, and then you can drag them to safety.
    • Often they don’t need to be lifted at all, but can be “wheel-barrowed” across the road.
    • In a pinch, a car mat or shovel can be pushed under a turtle so they can be dragged to safety.

For more information on turtles, the Ministry of Natural Resources has lots of information on their website: MNR Species at Risk: Turtles