Nesting season means more turtles popping up on roadways - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Nesting season means more turtles popping up on roadways



LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) -- Turtle nesting season has begun. 

Unfortunately, that means many turtles are crossing busy roads, like Highway 14/61 between La Crosse and La Crescent, to find a secure place to lay their eggs. 

That doesn't always end well. 

Deputy Tim Devine, of the La Crosse County Sheriff's Department, said while no one wants to run over a turtle, stopping your vehicle or swerving abruptly on a busy road could result in accidents and injuries to the people involved. 

"If you can slow down and get over the top of them, without running them over, that's probably the best option on the highways," Devine said. 

"They're not exactly running out there," he added. "So just be aware of your surroundings and try to avoid them." 

Brenda Kelly, a Mississippi River wildlife biologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, echoed Devine's advice. 

"A small, painted turtle for example is not that visible," she said. 

"So if you're aware of your surroundings and practice good avoidance because those animals are just trying to get to a different habitat, or somewhere where they can do some egg laying," Kelly said. 

Kelly said it's usually safe to pick up a turtle by its shell and move it to the side of the road where it's going if traffic is not busy.

She said most turtles are not harmful. 

Although snapping turtles, usually larger and characterized by a long tail, can be harmful because of their strong jaws and fearsome bite. 


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