Why did the turtle cross the road?

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Why did the turtle cross the road?

In many cases, the answer is, he didn't. He tried, but a distracted or unobservant driver ran right over him.

This is the time of year when male turtles have romance on their minds and are venturing out to find a mate. Every year, thousands of such box turtles in Stone and Barry Counties and all across the Ozarks are struck by cars and killed. These turtles' defensive mechanism, to go into their shell works very well to keep them safe in their natural environment, but it actually contributes to their demise when they enter upon Missouri roads.

When frightened, turtles will hide in their shell until they feel the danger has passed. This prolongs their exposure to traffic and increases their chances of getting hit.††

So what can we do? Well, stay "turtle alert.ď Watch the road and donít be distracted. If it is safe to do so (and only if it is safe), pull over and place the turtle on the side of the road where he is headed. Never take a turtle as a pet. They make really poor pets and do not normally survive for long in a home environment. It is also illegal.

These guys can live 50 to even 80 years in the wild. Let's stay turtle alert and help them to live those long, reproductive lives which nature intended for them.