Watch Out For Turtles!
'Tis the season for the annual nesting of terrapins here in South Jersey. So be aware, slow down, and watch out for turtles!
Why do female turtles cross the road?? To lay their eggs! And as we all know, turtles are pretty slow-moving creatures. If you're not paying attention and you see one out of the corner of your eye, you might think it's just a rock lying in the road. But beware...that 'rock' might just be a turtle, and you might just hit it if you don't watch out. So be careful!
If you see a turtle trying to cross the road, you can do your part to help it get across safely. If you can, pull over and park your vehicle off to the side of the road. Walk up to the turtle and pick it up by grabbing its shell with two hands. Hold it between its front and hind legs. Most importantly, always move the turtle in the direction that it is heading. They will turn around if you put them in the wrong direction, and that will just send them back in the road again. Place the turtle off the road onto dirt or grass.
So the next time you see a Turtle Crossing sign, don't just say, "Awwww...that's cute." Take the time to look out for turtles! I was on a road in Egg Harbor Township last week with marshes on both sides. I ended up seeing three turtles (yup three!) on that one little stretch of road. Fortunately they all made it across the road safely, thanks to good folks who stopped to help them. The turtles (and I) thank you! :)