Animal Answers: It’s Time to Talk Turtles

Educators with the Lake Superior Zoo Offer Safety Tips to Remember when Interacting with Turtles

DULUTH, Minn. – With the Minnesota fishing opener on Saturday, May 11 and more humans enjoying area lakes, it’s time to once again talk turtle conservation.

It’s also important to remember we often share rural roads with these interesting reptiles.

Melanie Michaels with the Lake Superior Zoo stopped by the FOX 21 Studios Wednesday to share a few reminders in this week’s Animal Answers.

Michaels brought along Leah, a 19-year-old painted turtle who calls the Lake Superior Zoo home.

Spring is the time of year when turtles come out from hibernation and lay eggs.

As turtles wake up, they’re searching for the best spot to lay eggs, and often times this means crossing roadways filled with fast-moving vehicles.

Michaels advises drivers to cautiously pull over to the side of the road and help the turtles cross the road.

She says it’s important to pick the turtles up just as you would a hamburger, grabbing them in the middle area in between the front and rear legs.

Be aware, turtles often urinate when picked up by a human.

Snapping turtles should be handled differently. It’s okay to use a stick to gently push them in the direction they’re headed.

If you stumble upon turtles laying eggs, it’s best to leave them be and let nature take its course.

Michaels says if you have questions regarding where a turtle has laid eggs, you’re welcome to call the Minnesota DNR or Wildwoods Rehabilitation Center in Duluth.

Click here for more information from the Lake Superior Zoo.

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