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Turtle Nesting Season: How to safely help our shelled friends cross the road


Thursday, May 23 is World Turtle Day, and the Town of Aurora would like to urge all residents and visitors to be on the lookout when driving on roadways close to bodies of water and green spaces. Turtle nesting season is here from May to mid-July, and our hard-shelled friends are out and about, often crossing roads to reach their nesting sites.

This is a crucial time for their survival, and they need our help to stay safe. These simple actions can make a world of difference:

Be Vigilant: When driving, especially near bodies of water or areas known to have turtle populations, remain alert for turtles crossing the road. Keep an eye out for movement along the roadside, particularly during early morning or late afternoon when turtles are most active.

Slow Down and Give Way: If you encounter a turtle crossing the road, slow down and give it the opportunity to safely reach the other side. Avoid honking or sudden movements that might startle the turtle and cause it to retreat, potentially putting it in harm's way.

Assist with Care: If it is safe to do so, you may choose to help a turtle cross the road. Use some cardboard or a shovel to move the turtle in the direction it was heading and place it on a grassy area away from the road.

It is important to note that you should never pick up a turtle by its tail. Lifting a turtle by its tail can cause serious injury to its spine. Use cardboard or something flat to guide the turtle in the direction it was going. Turtles have a strong sense of direction and are determined to reach their destination, so don’t try to relocate a turtle or take it home, be a good neighbour and help it get where it’s going.

If you come across an injured turtle, please contact Animal Services at 1-877-979-7297 for assistance.