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Here’s how you can help a turtle in the middle of the road

Why putting it back in a pond or stream probably isn’t a good idea.

PORTLAND, Maine — Would you like to do a big favor for a turtle? Sure you would. And it couldn’t be easier: Just keep an eye out for turtles when you’re driving in Maine in the spring and summer.

“Turtles will lay their eggs throughout the entire spring and summer, so they’re constantly on the move,” says Mr. Drew of Mr. Drew and His Animals, Too, an animal rehabilitation center in Lewiston that’s also devoted to educating children about reptiles and other wildlife. Keeping your speed in check when driving, particularly in rural areas, he says, will reduce your chances of hitting a turtle that’s crossing the road. “In 2020, there was less traffic so turtles did okay. In 2021, we’re back on the roads, and so you want to slow down.”

What should you do if you see a turtle in the road and want to help? “That’s fine,” Mr. Drew says. “Make sure you move them in the direction they’re going because the water could be over here and you think, oh, I’m going to put them back in the water. If they’re going to lay eggs, they’ll come out of the water again and they just repeat the chance of getting hit again.”

Mr. Drew has other tips about what you can do to keep Maine’s turtles safe. Watch our interview to learn more.