What do you do if you are driving along and have to stop and wait for a turtle to cross the road? I came across this sign earlier this week near Picton, Ontario, and had to wonder.
How long does it take a turtle to get to the other side? How often do turtles cross? Can you get out of your car and pick it up and carry it across, or does that violate some wildlife rules?
Turtles do tend to move slowly, and I am much too impatient to wait. I guess it is fortunate therefore that none of them decided to take a leisurely stroll across the road while I was there.
Being naturally curious, I did a little research. I didn’t get my questions answered (probably becasue they weren’t serious), but did find out more than I really need to know about turtles from the Ontario Turtle Conservation Cenrtre. I hadn’t even known there was such a thing, though I hadn’t given turtles thought before either.
Turns out you can request a turtle crossing sign if you live in an area where turtles frequently cross the road. There are eight species of turtle in Ontario, and all are at risk. Getting run over by motorists is one of the major hazards – second only to habitat loss when it comes to turtle mortality.
I could even have bought an “I Brake For Turtles” t-shirt, but decided I didn’t really need more clothes. I will stop for a turtle though, if I am ever driving a road where one is crossing. Wouldn’t you?