Brake for Turtles

Everyone wants to see wildlife in cottage country, whether it’s a moose among trees, deer grazing at the side of the road or the cute chipmunks that run across the deck.  Sadly, we often see the remains of creatures that have met an untimely end vs a car on a cottage road.

Since Turtles are slow-moving on land, they are particularly prone to being the victims in these unfortunate accidents.

Every spring and summer it can be heard across news waves – brake for turtles while driving this summer!

But, do you know how to help a turtle cross a road if you do see one in danger? Here’s a simple video to show you how to help even large Snapping Turtles cross the road safely:

If you’re helping a turtle cross the road, always move it across in the direction it’s facing. Simply place the turtle across the road, out of immediate danger. It is not our job, as humans, to bring them to what we assume is their destination.

So, what should you keep in your car to help turtles cross the road?

Safety Vest

As flight attendants always say, you have to help yourself before helping those around you. So, keep your own safety in mind when rescuing turtles, especially on busier roadways. Safety vests can fold up quite small and can be stored in a glove box for easy access.
Always slip it on before hopping out of your car on the road to help.

Old Sheet or Towel

Turtles are wild animals, although many are harmless, not all are. They also really range in size. So, to keep yourself and the turtle both safe and out of harm’s way, lift the turtle by its shell near its rear legs onto the sheet or towel. Keep yourself towards the turtle’s back and drag the sheet or towel across the road to safety.

Personal Protective Equipment – Gloves & Hand Sanitizer

We’ve all grown accustomed to face masks, gloves and hand sanitizer. Although a face mask isn’t a recommended item when helping a turtle cross the road, gloves and hand sanitizer certainly are!
If you have gloves with you, put them on when handling the turtle. It will not only keep the turtle’s germs off you, but it will keep your germs and skin oils away from the turtle. 

As always, after touching any animal, it’s good practice to wash your hands! While a sink with hand soap isn’t likely to be readily available roadside, a bottle of hand sanitizer can be.

Plastic Bin/Tote

What happens if you don’t make it to the turtle in time and it’s injured? Unfortunately, this happens all too frequently. 

Having a way to transport them to the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre can often make the life/death different for that turtle. 

But, how can it be done safely?

Any tote from your local Canadian Tire store will do! Put some holes in the lid of the tote so that air can circulate. You can even click the tote into a seat belt for added safety!

While you’re out and about, remember, “Brake for Turtles” and help them cross the road safely.

Happy driving!

CottageLINK Rental Management
Toll Free: 1-866 323 6698

Our Hours:
Mon-Fri 9-5
Sat-Sun 9-5

Business Address:
PO Box 39036
Columbia PO, Waterloo, ON, Canada N2T 0A7

Email Sign Up

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.