Habitat destruction, road kill mortality and slow reproductive rates make turtles among the more vulnerable animals treated at WRC. Please read below and spread the word on how to help our wild turtles thrive.
If you find a healthy turtle in your yard:
It could be a female turtle selecting a nest site, perhaps a male looking for a mate. If it is not injured the best thing to is leave it alone and observe from a distance, allowing it to carry on in its ecological niche undisturbed.
If you find a healthy turtle in the road:
Move the turtle across the road in the direction it was headed. Large turtles, such as the common snapping turtle, can be gently pushed out of the road with a blunt object. Once safely on the roadside, observe the turtle momentarily to make sure it continues heading away from the road.
NEVER relocate a box turtle. Research shows that box turtles have homing instincts and can spend all of their energy trying to return to their home. In doing so they will cross roads, railroad tracks and encounter predators all along the way. They are much better off if they can remain in the territory they are familiar with. A turtle may spend its whole life, over 50 years, in an area smaller than three football fields.
It is illegal to capture, sell or trade Missouri's native turtles for the pet trade.
-Missouri Department of Conservation
Contact the Wildlife Rescue Center at (636) 394-1880 for instruction on any situation not covered by the preceding information.
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