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Watch Out for Turtles

June 5, 2012 by Contributor filed under Dear Editor, Opinion 1 Comment
box turtle sized

Turtles are especially active during this time of year, and many find themselves in danger when they try to cross roads. Because of their extremely slow metabolism, turtles who are hit by vehicles can suffer for days or even weeks before dying.

PETA rescue workers routinely find turtles who are still alive and suffering immensely even though their shells have been crushed. If you see a turtle—or any animal—in the road, please check on him or her, even if the animal appears to be dead.

Small turtles should be gently grasped between the front and back legs and quickly carried across the road in the direction the animal was heading (turtles will turn back into traffic if you don’t oblige). Large or snapping turtles can be gently coaxed into an animal carrier or onto a sturdy, flat surface and moved across the road. If you see a turtle who has been hit by a car, rush him or her to a veterinarian or an animal shelter.

Stopping to check on an animal only takes a moment, but it can mean the difference between life and death. Visit www.PETA.org for more information.

Amy Skylark Elizabeth
The PETA Foundation
Norfolk

1 comment

  1. Laura Lieberman says:

    Thanks to Amy for bringing up the topic. I move turtles from the road all of the time. Last week I did take a severely injured turtle to TLC (The Life Center) in Leesburg. TLC is a registered wildlife center. They do treat injured wildlife…which also includes euthanasia if needed.

    The turtle I found had severe injuries and was still alive. Amy is right They can live in agony for several days after their injury. It’s best to take them to TLC or a registered wildlife center to be euthanized. These services are FREE.

    If the turtle’s injuries are treatable TLC will do the initial repair work and send it to the Blue Ridge Center (In Boyce, VA) for final rehab.

    Please move an uninjured turtle well off the roadways or take to a wooded area if possible. And remember, TLC in Leesburg is a great alternative to leaving an injured animal on the side of the road.

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