Posted Thursday, May 7, 2014 --- 3:32 p.m.
The Dane Co. Humane Society is offering tips on what to do if you see a turtle crossing the roadway.
Turtles will soon be on the move for breeding and to find good nesting sites for their eggs. Many risk their lives crossing roadways.
In 2013, the Dane Co. Humane Society's wildlife rehabilitation center cared for more than 130 turtles, most of which had been hit by cars. That was up from just 31 turtles in 2012.
Humane Society officials say you can save turtles by helping them cross the road safely. They offer these guidelines:
1. Always move them across the road in the direction they were heading, even if they are heading away from the water source.
2. Do not relocate the turtle. Simply move them to the other side of the road and let them be on their way.
3. Never pick them up by their tail. You can safely hold them by the back edge of their shell without getting bitten.
4. Alternatively, if you don't want to pick them up, you can use a blunt object such as a stick, shovel or other similar item you may already have in your car to push them across the road.
5. Turtles are very resilient. If you see an injured turtle along the roadside, please pick it up and transport it to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator even if you are not sure it is alive any longer. Sometimes it can be hard to tell if it is alive, but even if it is not alive, there may be eggs that we can harvest and hatch to release the babies.
6. Be sure you are looking out for your own safety as well. Don't get yourself hit by a car in the process of saving the turtle!