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Missouri Dept. of Conservation warns drivers to watch out for turtles

(KY3)
Published: Apr. 10, 2022 at 11:36 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - As spring moves along, and the Missouri Department of Conservation is urging drivers to watch out for turtles.

MDC says many species of Missouri’s turtles become more active during the spring as they emerge from their burrows and cross the roads in search of food and a mate. When that happens, there’s the possibility they could get hit by a car as they try to make it across the road.

Turtles are often hit by cars during the warmer months, but they are at higher risk during warm and wet conditions, which can lead them to cross roadways. MDC says thousands of box turtles are killed every year by vehicles nationwide.

MDC urges motorists to be cautious and slow down when they see a turtle in the road. If stopping to help a turtle make it safely across, check for traffic and move the turtle in the direction it is traveling.

Wildlife officials also say wild turtles should be left in the wild. They warn keeping them as pets can lead to a slow death.

For more information on Missouri’s native turtles, CLICK HERE.

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