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Phenology with local naturalist Larry Weber every Friday morning at 8:20 on Northland Morning.

Green Visions: how to safely move a turtle and other skills

©Wildwoods Rehabilitation
Painted turtle upon admission to Wildwoods; shell stablized with ster-strips preparatory to transport to Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Roseville

Turtles are on the move throughout Minnesota, foolishly (or so it seems to humans) looking for that warm sandy soil on the shoulders of roads to lay their eggs.  Turtle-car collisions often end in tragedy for the turtle, but Wildwoods Rehabilitation says they're tougher than you might think.

How to move a turtle:

  • pick them up mid-shell
  • (turtles can pee when startled; don't drop them!)
  • move them across the road in the direction they were heading
  • don't relocate them; leave them where you found them (just safely on the other side)
  • keep the contact minimal

How to move a SNAPPING TURTLE:

  • DO NOT pick them up mid-shell (they have long necks)
  • DO NOT pick them up by the tail (you can injure or break their spines)
  • Use a snow shovel or a broom and gently scoot them across the road in the direction they were heading
  • It's best if they can get their under their own power (with a little gentle prodding from you)

If you have occasion to help a turtle cross a road, check out this page on the Minnesota DNR's website and scroll down to the Minnesota Turtle Crossing Tally & Count PDF under "Citizen Science."  The information you submit will be used to help determine turtle crossing and mortality areas around the state.

Lisa Johnson started her broadcast career anchoring the television news at her high school and spinning country music at KWWK/KOLM Radio in Rochester, Minnesota. She was a reporter and news anchor at KTHI in Fargo, ND (not to mention the host of a children's program called "Lisa's Lane") and a radio reporter and anchor in Moorhead, Bismarck, Wahpeton and Fergus Falls.Since 1991, she has hosted Northland Morning on KUMD. One of the best parts of her job includes "paying it forward" by mentoring upcoming journalists and broadcasters on the student news team that helps produce Northland Morning. She also loves introducing the different people she meets in her job to one another, helping to forge new "community connections" and partnerships.Lisa has amassed a book collection weighing over two tons, and she enjoys reading, photography, volunteering with Animal Allies Humane Society and fantasizing about farmland. She goes to bed at 8pm, long before her daughter, two cats, or three dogs.
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