Why did the turtle cross the road?

Tom Driscoll

Big turtles are crossing the road this time of year and they do not always look both ways before crossing.  They are slow and relatively small and no match for a vehicle.

Photo: Tom Driscoll

When I see turtles crossing the road I always stop and help them make it to safety in the direction that they are travelling.  Of course, I make sure that I am also safe and not creating a dangerous situation for other drivers.  Often someone else also stops to assist.

Picking up a giant snapping turtle is potentially dangerous as their necks can extend faster than ET allowing them to turn their head and bite.  I usually wear gloves and make sure to grasp the turtle by the shell well back from their head.  I want to keep my fingers.

Out biking recently I came across a turtle laying eggs along the road.  New Gloucester is very sandy and we have a lot of streams and ponds.  From a turtle’s perspective a road is just a hot flat area in the woods they must cross before getting to the sandy area.

The mother turtle in these photos is digging with her back legs to prepare an area for laying eggs, not far from the pavement.

Turtles should have the right of way when crossing the roads.

When flying aircraft, the faster and more maneuverable aircraft must give way to the slower aircraft.  For instance, if I am flying a fast and maneuverable helicopter and I come across a slow flying balloon from the Auburn Balloon Festival, I must yield to avoid the balloon.

When boating, a fast and maneuverable power boat encountering a canoe or kayak must yield to the smaller craft.

This is New Gloucester.   When driving, let’s yield and be courteous to our local turtles!