Why do Turtles Cross Roads?
The best thing to do is help turtles cross the road, but only do this if you can do so safely and without disrupting traffic. (Photo by Canva)
In the South, there’s a legend that says rain is on the way any time you see a turtle cross the road. There’s very little truth to this myth, even though it does seem like rain is in the forecast after we see one of these creatures slowly making its way across the street.
During spring and early summer, you may notice an increase in the number of turtles you see crossing roads. Some are looking for food and water, but most female turtles are leaving their water habitats to find a place on land to lay eggs. That journey often involves crossing a road or two in the process. Turtles dig holes in soil or sand to lay their eggs. After the eggs are laid, the mama turtle returns to the water.
As you might expect, roads are very dangerous for turtles. Many will not safely make it to the other side of the road. Try to avoid running over the turtle if you can, but don’t swerve to miss the turtle. It’s not worth risking an accident.
The best thing to do is help it cross the road, but only do this if you can do so safely and without disrupting traffic. The turtle knows where it’s going, so it’s best to put it on the side of the road that it is trying to get to. Be sure to gently pick up the turtle by the sides of its shell when transporting it. It’s best not to take it to a nearby body of water.
Turtles are an important part of our ecosystem, so lend them a helping hand when crossing the road if you can do so safely. Keep an eye out for turtles crossing the street this summer, and keep your umbrella packed. Just in case!
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