From now until October you may see turtles crossing the road. Or, if you live near a body of water, they may appear in your backyard.
According to the Turtle Rescue League, in “late summer and fall, hatchling turtles are digging up from nests, looking for water and later on males and females are heading to places to hibernate.”
If you find a turtle crossing the road, make sure you stop in a safe location before assisting the turtle. Keep it low to the ground in case you drop it if it kicks itself out of your hands, pick it up on the sides of the shell not the tail, and do not turn it around. If you have a snapper, use a blunt object to scoot it across the road so you don’t hurt it. You can wait to make sure it doesn’t turn around to recross the road before you leave.
If you find one in your backyard, it most likely is laying eggs. If you are lucky enough to have a nest of turtle eggs in your yard, do not:
- Turn the eggs; or
- Let kids or dogs near them.
Moving eggs will kill the baby inside. You can, according to the Turtle Rescue League, create a barrier against predators. You can even create a turtle-friendly environment in your back yard. For more details on this and other scenarios, visit http://www.turtlerescueleague.com.