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