As I mentioned in an earlier post, it’s breeding season here for Eastern Box Turtles, and the poor creatures often try to cross busy roads to get to their destinations…and you can guess how that plays out. We had another opportunity today to help a small turtle get across the road safely, and – with luck – we were successful.
It was a rainy day, and I’ve noticed that the wet conditions seem draw turtles out. As we drove down a 2-lane highway, something small, in the middle of the other lane, caught my eye: with its outstretched neck, I knew it was a turtle. To have any chance of safely relocating it, time was of the essence – we turned around in the nearest driveway and went back, hoping upon hope that no cars ran it over before we could get there.
I watched with trepidation as a big truck passed right over the turtle – thankfully, the driver wasn’t weaving in his lane or crossing the centerline, because that would have gone badly for the turtle. With no cars behind us, we scooped the turtle (now trying to speed away, faster than you’d think) up and took it to the side of the road to which it had been headed. This is important: a turtle must be placed on the side it was originally headed to, or it will likely attempt a death-defying crossing again. We gently placed it quite a distance from the road, facing the same direction.
You might be wondering if the effort was worthwhile for a turtle. I answer this with a resounding “yes“. While I can’t help every turtle trying to cross the road, I can remain focused and alert while driving, scanning the road, and when I see one I can help, do so. And even though it’s a small thing, that turtle may just make it to its breeding ground and play a part in bringing more turtles into this world; ergo, even small efforts matter.