PETA rescue workers recently discovered these two turtles beside local roads. Although they were mortally wounded, both turtles were still alive and suffering immensely when we found them. They were quickly and mercifully put out of their misery.
As the weather warms up, turtles are becoming increasingly mobile. If you see a turtle attempting to cross a road, lend a hand. Small turtles can be carried across the road by holding both sides of the shell and body, in front of the back legs. Large or snapping turtles can be gently coaxed into an animal carrier or onto a sturdy, flat surface so that they can be safely moved a short distance, or you can simply walk behind the animal until the turtle is safely across.
Always carry turtles in the direction they were heading. These determined animals have a destination in mind, and they will simply head back into the road if you try to change their course. Healthy, uninjured turtles shouldn't be moved from the general area where they were found, so once they've made it safely across, it's best to leave them be.
If you see a turtle who has been hit by a car, take the animal to a veterinarian or an animal shelter to be assessed and, if necessary, euthanized. Turtles have an extremely slow metabolism and can take days or weeks to die, even when they are severely injured.
For more tips, visit PETA's "Wildlife Emergencies" page.
Written by Michelle Sherrow