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Brake for Turtles!

Profile photo of Sean-H

Posted April 11, 2013 by Sean Horvath

Turtles are on the move this time of year, definitely keep a close eye out for them when you’re out driving (or riding in someone else’s car)!

If you spot a turtle in the road, please be sure to stop! 

turtle-in-road

You’ll want to get out of your car and help the turtle move in the direction he or she was heading. Turtles know where they are going, and they will turn back into traffic if you don’t send them where they wanted to go.

  • Small turtles can be picked up and carried across the road. Using both hands, you’ll want to gently scoop the turtle up by holding the shell/body, in between the front and back legs.
  • Large turtles or snapping turtles should be handled as little as possible. Wear gloves if you’ve got them, and gently encourage the turtle into a cat or dog carrier OR onto a solid, flat surface (like a piece of sturdy cardboard) that can be safely moved a short distance with the turtle on top of it.

If you spot a turtle who is injured and/or has been hit by a car, please don’t assume he or she is dead!

Turtles have slow metabolisms and can suffer for days, even weeks, before dying. Test for a reaction by pinching a back toe, or very gently touching the corner of turtle’s eye lid (if possible). Injured turtles must be contained and transported to a vet or animal shelter right away.

This photo is graphic, but it illustrates how important it is that you stop and check on turtles who have been hit. Turtles that are hit by cars are probably still alive and suffering badly. This turtle was still alive when PETA’s Community Animal Project found him:

turtle-hit-on-road-eggs

turtle-hit-on-road

If they’re not injured, and not in the street—leave ’em alone!

Thanks for helping turtles!

help-animals-turtle-button

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  • 87 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    But then what do we do with the turtle? What vet can handle that kind of injury?

    • Profile photo of Emilyr

      66 days ago

      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

      0

      If you can’t find a vet in your area contact us at CIDinfo@peta.org <3

  • 87 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    Also be careful when picking up turtles on the road, some get startled, and pee.

  • Profile photo of Slaying117

    374 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    ;c its soo sad :/

  • 491 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    :(

  • Profile photo of SpazAttakk

    498 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    T____T

  • Profile photo of Mar01

    498 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    Poor turtles! so sad :(

  • 498 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    it’s soooooo sad :(

  • Profile photo of jalenlumia

    499 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    Love you god be with you this needs to be stop and prevented

  • 622 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    14

    But please don’t just slam on your breaks to avoid a small animal or swerve madly when there is other traffic. Your life and safety and the lives and safety of those around you are more important than that turtle or squirrel in the road way.

    Please, only do so if it is safe for you and others to do so. Common sense should come first.

  • 622 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    3

    Oh god … poor turtles :(

  • 637 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    3

    That Turtle has an egg we must rescue it..NOOOOOO!!!! I WANT THE EGGS TO TAKE CARE OF THEM!

  • 637 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    Its so sad!!

  • Profile photo of AviannaJeanette

    637 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    I saw a ran over turtle when I was a child once, but there was no doubt it was dead…it was completely flat. )':

  • Profile photo of teamathree

    800 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    2

    omg, that just made my stomach hurt,

  • Profile photo of jswert24

    822 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    oh my gosh! thats soo gross and sad

  • Profile photo of rmoniemony

    839 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    3

    i break for turtles and all others too

  • Profile photo of alexblue

    841 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    5

    So sad. You just have to stop and give them a moment of silent reverence and respect.

  • Profile photo of marlesisinthishereplace

    841 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    3

    Im proud to say Ive helped many a turtle get to their destinations safely. I didn’t however know that a hit turtle could be alive and in much pain. Thanks for the information.

  • 842 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    omg wow

  • 842 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    2

    Let’s be honest. If you find a turtle that has been crushed by a car and in THAT condition as shown above, would a vet really honestly be able to do anything for it? I stop and help turtles all the time, everyone I see, I will stop traffic and help them across. And I understand they CAN still be alive, but in that condition, honestly, what can a vet do for a turtle like that?

    • Profile photo of Whitney-C

      841 days ago

      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

      23

      Simple: A vet can give a turtle in this condition a humane end to his or her suffering.

  • 1354 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    =[

  • 1354 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    3

    Everytime time I have saw a turtle lying in the road or near it I have always made my parents stop and let me help it across. I have been doing this ever since I can remeber. :) I am always happy to help turtles or any animal of that matter! That pic is ssooo sad! :'(

  • 1501 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    5

    I always help animals across the street-even slugs! Turtles are definatly worth helping…all animals are.  <3

  • 1503 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    soooo ironic that i’d find this post. about 2 weeks ago, there was a medium sized painted (3-legged) turtle trying to cross a very busy road my family was driving down. we picked him up. we didn’t take him across the street… but by a pond far from any roads. I’m just glad we found him before it was too late. (:

  • 1506 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    2

    That’s so sad :( there was a turtle crossing the road once & my parents made sure he made it to the other side safely :-)

  • 1508 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    2

    i never knew that they would suffer for a long time, now when i see a turle i’ll check .

  • 1511 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    i always stop for turtles, i saw two this year and stoped for both of them i’d rather save them and get saminella, then for them to die, and me feel guilty.

  • 1512 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    that’s soo sad
    :'(

  • 1513 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    wow.. this picture got me emotional.. and i got even more sad because i have a turtle as a pet. :(

  • 1516 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    2

    that is so sadd! i love turtles!!

  • 1519 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    2

    I promise to watch out for my turtle friends!

  • 1522 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    11

    This is a great article with a great message, however: injured turtles found at roadside should not be brought to a veterinarian or animal shelter; not only is it illegal in many states for unlicensed individuals to accept wildlife, but your typical dog/cat vet or shelter does not have the knowledge or qualifications to help. You should bring any and all injured wildlife to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator or wildlife rehab facility. These individuals are trained and skilled in taking the steps to help injured wildlife get back on their paws (or wings, or flippers) and back to the wild. They also know when and how to end the suffering of animals that are too far gone. You can find a list of rehabbers in your state through the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association or through contacting your state wildlife agency. Thanks for caring!

  • 1522 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    Turtles are soo cute! I started to cry when I saw this picture. I have two turtles and I love them so much! I would hate to see this happen to them! Everyone please watch out for turtles!

  • 1522 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    I have a red eared slider turtle and just looking at this turtle in this state brakes my heart into a million pieces. I cant even image running a poor defenseless turtle over.. Twice i have stopped my car and helped a snake and a seagull (that was injured) off the road..
    The worse thing about this .. is that when i was trying to save the snake.. a car ran it over on purpose.. Can you even imagen this..
    Well lets just say the ear full that the driver got was very clourful..

    Poor turtle! :(
    soo sad!
    <3 forever

  • 1523 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    2

    I LOVE TURTLES!!!!

  • 1523 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    omg that is soo sad and greoss i love me turtles!

  • 1523 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    I saved a turtle in the road the other day after seeing this posted in the boards!! It was really bright outside so I could barely see the screen on my phone but did manage to get one picture.

    http://tinypic.com/r/6oh2rn/7
    That’s my bf holding it so I could take a picture, it’s not me. Haha.)

  • 1523 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    I have stopped and others I have met stopped at the same time, and a few turtles (not small ones!) were saved on busy Florida highways! Hell, they will kill you or me just standing there on the roadside, so a poor 8″ box turtle will become soup if it isn’t brought to safe haven! We put one n a box and took him to a pond and another was released across a road and into a wooded area with water flowing there.

    Just better than allowing some idiot who is texting or on a cell or who JUST DOESN’T CARE to hit the poor animal and smash it! It’s the least people can do to avoid killing what wildlife remains among us! We have destroyed so much in recent years.

  • 1523 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    poor turtles… :(

  • 1523 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    Thats so great! Growing up my mom would always STOP in the middle of the road or highway no matter where we were going or how important it was and make sure the turtles (big and small) got across the road safely!

  • 1523 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    2

    MUST SAVE TURTLES FROM THE VEHICULAR MENACE!

  • Dee

    1524 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    this picture is just too overwhelming. :( poor turtles …

  • 1524 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    i love turtles! they’re the best little critters! i’ll keep an eye out for them (:

  • 1525 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    I don’t drive but will be telling others to watch out and watching out for any myself.

  • 1526 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    OMG that was soooo sad! D':

  • 1529 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    I always watch out for turtles! I remember one time when I was a little girl I saw a road filled with crushed turtles. It broke my heart. To this day I still can’t get that horrible scene out of my head. Those helpless little turtles didn’t deserve to die that way and neither do any other animals!

  • 1529 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    :O i didnt know they suffer for so long! poor turtles :'(

  • 1529 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    I just saved a little painted turtle the other day :)

  • 1529 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    My friend and I rescue them all of the time (ones that have been hit). Most recently I took one to an over night animal hospital. She had a cracked shell.

  • 1529 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    I love turtles. This makes me sad when I read this. :(
    I hope the turtle lives. I would have thought the turtle was dead if i seen it. Good thing I read this article.Now I know. You guys are awesome. A lot of turles will be saved this summer because of this article.

  • 1529 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    that’s so sad that they get injured and left for dead. We dont have turtles where i live but deer get hit year round and they too suffer from injuries before dying because no one ever stop or keeps better lookout for them. I hope more people will take responsibility for the animals theyre endangering when they drive! Im glad for the tips. If im in an area with turtles ill know what to do when i see them on the road!

  • 1529 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    :(

  • 1529 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    I never knew that turtles have such slow metabolism and can suffered for days and weeks before dying after getting hit by a car. That is so sad! I will def stop my car if I ever see a turtle! Thank You for the knowledge!

  • 1529 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    OMG :'( I have a baby turtle of my own and to see a turtle in that kind of state just makes me want to cry in anger

    • 1472 days ago

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

      0

      :( Ik I have a turtle too :(
      But turtles under 4 inches are illegal because of salmonella you know.. Wah your hands rlly well after associating with it and I would call someone about where you got the baby turtle, because they’re usually badly abused when shipped through the black market. ((i wouldn’t mention you bought a turtle though, just say you saw them selling the turtles))

  • 1529 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    poor turtles

  • 1529 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    That was so sad! I will definetly make sure I watch out for my shelly friends! :)

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