June 3, 2019 – Washington Co., WI – Looks like there are quite a few thoughtful turtle rescuers in Washington County. Are you one?
You don’t need a cape, just a little bit of common sense. Some helpful tips are below.
Above is a snapper that was rescued from the parking lot at Hartford’s Walmart. Photo is courtesy Dawn Schenk-Wacker.
According to the Turtle Rescue League…
– When picking up a small turtle, grasp it on either side of its shell behind the front legs. The turtle will still be able to kick at you, but many will choose to stay safely tucked in, during the short time you are moving them.
– Keep the turtle low to the ground when moving them. Even small turtles have surprising strength. If a turtle pushes free of your grip, you do not want it to fall and injure itself.
– If the turtle is large (with a long tail), it may be a snapping turtle, they can be a bit aggressive and you might not want to attempt picking it up, but you can still help it across the road.
– If you are helping a large snapper, simply push it from behind with a Blunt object, don’t use anything sharp or pokey, you don’t want to hurt the turtle. Although snappers can seem dangerous, they are just protecting the babies they are carrying, like any wild animal, you need to exercise caution.
– Make sure to put the turtle in the direction it was heading, NEVER TURN THEM AROUND! The turtle is on a mission, and if you turn it around, it will simply go back across the road when you drive away.
– Once you have the turtle across the road, you can sit and watch to make sure it is heading off and not turning back around.
– Although you may be tempted to relocate a turtle, don’t. Many turtles have “Home Ranges”, a territory they call home, and when relocated, they will search out ways back. Besides risking many additional road crossings, some turtles, if they cannot find their way back will stop eating and just wander listlessly.
The photo below was submitted by Karen Kappel as it looks like turtle has found a good spot to lay some eggs in her yard.
Took 2 big guys to save this dinosaur last summer. Amazing and scary and heavy! Glad they were around cuz there was no way I was going to be able to do it like I thought. Awesome creatures.
The rascal below had a tough time making the climb up the curb on Valley Avenue.
Finally Dani Daly wrote, “I saved this little guy a MONTH AGO! I slammed on my brakes and EVERYTHING on my seat went flying! I save about 5 every summer!!!!!!
Sandie Utecht Paul found this little guy below and put it somewhere safe. In the mean time, it made friends with Bentley who LOVES turtles.