How should the turtle cross the road ?
Turtles are out “en masse” this year. Here’s how you can help them travel safely in the service of helping maintain their numbers. (Seven of Ontario’s eight turtle species at risk.)
Why did the turtle cross the road? Because you helped wheelbarrow it there.
The ambling animals aren’t known for looking both ways; cars are one of the biggest killers of Ontario’s turtles, which are often spotted along the province’s roadways.
With seven of Ontario’s eight turtle species at risk, the Nature Conservancy of Canada is trying to teach people how to help the slow-moving critters if they see one on the road.
Remember wheelbarrow races? The childhood game is an effective way to get feisty snapping turtles across the street.
As their name suggests, snapping turtles tend to reach their necks around and snap their jaw as a defence mechanism.
Avoid a biting mouth by grabbing the two “handles” at the back of a snapping turtle’s shell, tipping it up onto its front legs, and “wheelbarrowing” it across the road, said Kristyn Ferguson, a program director with Nature Conservancy Canada.
“You’re essentially helping it walk to safety,” she said, demonstrating with Junior, a large snapping turtle at Scales Nature Park.
Ferguson is trying to encourage people to pull over and help turtles across the street, and Nature Conservancy Canada is producing an educational video and blog posts on the topic.