The weather is warmer and we're starting to see turtles out in the road, did you know if you don't move them out of the road correctly, you could end up doing more harm than good?

I have a really bad confession to make.  I one time accidentally hit a turtle when driving. I didn't see it, I came around a blind curve and he was there before I could hit the breaks. Of course I did not take it well, I felt horrible, so now I feel it's my duty to help save any turtle I find in the road from meeting the same fate as Franklin (what my cousin and I named the deceased turtle to honor him in his untimely death).  All jokes aside, that was the one and only time I hit an animal with my car and I was one of the worst days ever, I still feel bad and I was a teenager when this happened.

So now anytime I see a turtle in the road I have to turn around and save it.  However,  it turns out there's a right way and a wrong way to move turtles out of the road, and if you don't do it correctly, you could end up doing more harm than good.  The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has some tips for keeping the turtle safe.

  • If you're going to move the turtle out of the road, move it towards the direction it was heading. If not the turtle will just turn around and end up in the road again.
  • Do NOT move the turtle from that area. It'll take the turtle out of it's home range and remove it from it's population. It can also disorient the turtle, and potentially spread diseases to that new area.
  • They also remind you that wild turtles do not make good pets. In fact it's illegal to take Eastern box turtles from the wild, as they're protected. You can't hunt them or keep them as pets.

You can find more tips like the ones above on the Indiana Department of Natural Resources website.

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