Turtles cross the road for many different reasons. You see it most often in the months of April-October. Whatever it is that causes turtles to travel, their final destination can take then many miles away from the waterways that they usually live in. Crossing the road can be potentially fatal for turtles as they move slowly, and due to development the corridors they need to cross from one habitat to the next are often across a roadway.
In the springtime male turtles are looking to claim their territory & seeking out female turtles...The female turtles are looking for a good spot to lay their eggs. During the late summer and into fall, baby turtles hatch and dig up from their nests looking for water. Later on in the season both male & female turtles seek out places to hibernate. Turtles also occasionally migrate to find a more suitable habitat in which to live.
You can help the turtles to cross the road, and it only takes a few minutes out of your day.
When you stop to help a turtle across the road, it is best to be safe. Busy streets can also be hazardous for would be rescuers! Remember to put your four way flashers on, and pull fully off the road. It is important that other drivers can see you, before you step out onto the road.
Always make sure to take the turtle in the direction in which they are headed. NEVER TURN THEM AROUND! The turtle is on a mission and it is not helpful to turn them around as they will continue on their way to cross the road once you leave.
If the turtle is small, you can easily pick it up by grasping it on either side of its shell, behind the front legs. The turtle may still be able to kick & hiss at you, but most prefer to stay safely tucked in their shell while they are being moved. Keep the turtles low to the ground while you are moving them. Even tiny turtles are quite strong, but can still be injured if you accidentally drop them. If the turtle is large and had a spiky shell and long tail. This may be a snapping turtle. Snapping turtles can be very aggressive, and you may not want to attempt to pick one up, but you can still help it across the road.
If you are helping a large snapping turtle you can push it from behind with a large blunt object. Do not use anything sharp as they may get injured. A snapping turtle has an amazing reach through its head/neck region..so it is best not to try and move them with your bare hands. Never pick up a turtle by its tail, as this can injure them quite severely.
Once you have helped the turtle across the road, you can heave a big sigh of relief and smile, because you have just helped one of the earths oldest creatures survive another day.