It's not often that we get to see these cute, prehistoric reptiles on the move here in Minnesota. But, when we do, it's important to know what to do! To help or not to help, that is the question.
Why Did The Turtle Cross The Road?
If you see a turtle waddling its way across one of our Minnesota roads, should you pick it up and help it? (Up here we always want to "help"! "Minnesota nice" is a real thing!) Sometimes it's best to just stop, watch, and quietly guard as the turtle crosses the road- especially if it is an endangered or protected species.
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By keeping your hands off the critter, it allows for nature to continue on its path. The turtle's instincts are leading it somewhere specific- often to water or to a safe place to lay its eggs.
If you consider the turtle to be in an emergency situation and the animal needs to be moved, it's important to assist in the least intrusive way possible. Move the turtle in a direct line in the direction it was headed. If you're unsure, it's a good idea to remember the saying from the Minnesota DNR, "If you care, leave it there!"
If you must help one of our shelled friends across the road, make sure the roadway is safe in order to keep yourself and those with you out of danger. Also, remember that if you must handle a turtle, do so very gently and with as little handling as possible. Keep the turtle moving in the direction it was headed and, whenever possible, allow the creature to have an unassisted crossing.
By all means, enjoy a turtle if you see one! Just follow these simple tips to ensure the Minnesota turtle population stays safe for generations to come.
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