helping a turtle across the road

Helping Turtles Cross the Road

If you see a turtle on the road, and it is safe to stop, it is important to help the turtle cross the road.

Most of the turtles on roads are female and are crossing to reach nesting sites. Each turtles will return to their nesting sites and cross within 5m of the same line each year for hundreds of years.

First make sure it is safe to get onto the road and that no oncoming traffic is going to harm you while you help the turtle.

Move the turtle the direction that the turtle is heading.

Do not turn the turtle around. If you turn the turtle around, she will simply turn back and go across the road again- so help her move in the direction she is going.

Never move a turtle by picking it up by its tail (the tail is connected to the spine, and picking a turtle up by the tail will injure the turtle's back and movements).

If it is a snapping turtle on the road, the easiest and safest ways to move the turtle is with a shovel, your car mat to coax the turtle onto the mat or shovel and pull the turtle with its back end facing you off the road; or if you find a stick, you can make the turtle bite onto the stick and walk it or drag it across the road like a dog!

If you touch a turtle, it is also important to wash your hands. Turtles carry salmonella. Download our Guide to Helping Turtles Cross Roads


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