We saw this photo of Battle Creek Fire Fighter Gary Metheny rescuing a turtle from the road.  There were a lot of nice comments too, as there should be.  I've been doing it for years and I think its a very noble thing to do.  But be careful!  There's not always a fireman like Gary around.

The website wildlifecenter.org has some tips:

  • Assist turtles crossing the road by carrying them across in the direction they’re headed. Many turtles crossing roads are egg-laden females looking for appropriate nesting sites.
  • Do NOT relocate a turtle to a “better place”. Turtles have small home territories and should be left where they are found. Their survivability depends on it!
  • Take special care when dealing with a Snapping Turtle. These turtles may be as much as 19 inches long, weigh up to 35 pounds, have powerful jaws, and a long neck . To handle a large Snapping Turtle safely, avoid the front half of the turtle’s body. While wearing gloves, place one hand on the base of the turtle’s tail – to help stabilize and secure the turtle – and slide the other hand halfway under the turtle’s shell.
  • Always wash your hands with soap and water after handling a turtle.

If you find an injured turtle and decide to take it to a veterinarian, make a careful note of where you found it, so it can be returned there.

Another website, thedodo.com offers some good information.

  • If the turtle has a crack in the shell, do not place it in water.  If there's a puncture in the lung, the turtle can drown.
  • In the case of snapping turtles, never, ever pick one up by the tail,.  This can break their spine.
  • Use caution by grabbing by the back of the shell and placing on a car mat or other object it can be dragged on if it's too large to pick up.

Be careful with snapping turtles!  They don't usually bite, but don't take a risk.  They don't really want to bite you any more than you want to be be bitten.

And above all be careful that you don't get hit by a car while trying to save a turtle from that fate.