Have shell, will travel

By Don Wollum

Pittsboro, NC – Turtles are traveling.

First year box turtles are now seen traveling to new environments and are extending mate seeking.

They mostly travel the morning after a rain fall the day before. Wet grass is easier to slide their shell on and has been associated to their travel days.

photo by Gene Galin

I am writing this to bring awareness to us in our cars traveling along out back roads. Turtles at a distance can look like a brown pine cone or a mud clump or even a hand sized rock.

With us driving with care when we see a brown half-softball size shape turtle in the road; during mid-June and until mid-July, morning after a rainfall. Drive with care to also not lose control of your car on damp roads..

Look behind and ahead in your car first if you are enacting an evasive maneuver to possibly save a turtle’s life.

After passing and when clear to pull over, one can pick up the turtle and lift him/her to the side of the road the turtle was facing or traveling to.

The larger dark green snapping turtles ( snapping turtles are the size of deflated basketball ) are just driven around. Do not return to pick these turtles up.

Snapping turtles are wary and will not generally pull their head inside shell and worse, are very apt to lunge at you. That snapping beak they possess can remove a fingertip or worse.

Please remember that ecology and diversity with plants and animals are important.