Moving Unhappy Box Turtle From Road

By | May 8, 2017

This seems like an unhappy Box Turtle I was moving to the other side of the road. Most of the time they will stay tucked into their shells when I pick them up. I was able to park in a safe place to help this turtle. It went into its shell when I got close to it. As soon as I picked it up it came out. I had my camera ready so that when I placed it on the other side of the road I could get a few photos. This time I didn’t have to wait for the turtle to come out of its shell. When I got on the other side of the road I took a few photos and when I placed it on the ground, it tucked into its shell.

I read years ago if you need to pick up a turtle, gently grasp the shell edge near the midpoint of the body. I think I would do this anyway because some will empty their bladder when they are first lifted off the ground. This one didn’t, but I was ready for when it did. (I moved my hand to the back of the turtle to get this photo after I was sure it wouldn’t urinate on me.)

Unhappy Box Turtle Being Moved Across Road

Box Turtle – Fujifilm X100T | @23mm | 1/1400 | f/5.6 | ISO 400

Helpful Tips For Moving Turtles

  • Move a turtle in the same direction it was traveling when you saw it.
  • Place the turtle at least 20 or 30 feet from the road (not on the roadside).
  • Turtles should be moved across roadways in as direct a line as possible.

Box Turtle Facts

Turtles can defend themselves from predation by hiding, closing their shell and biting. The risk of death is greatest in small animals due to their size and weaker carapace and plastron. While the shell of an adult box turtle is seldom fractured, the box turtle is still vulnerable to surprise attacks and persistent gnawing or pecking. Common predators are mammals like minks, skunks, raccoons, dogs and rodents, but also birds (e.g. crows, ravens) and snakes (e.g. racers, cottonmouths) are known to kill box turtles. (Wikipedia)

Author: Steve Creek

An Arkansas-based wildlife photographer specializing in the wildlife found in Arkansas and Oklahoma. Steve’s images are created from his overwhelming passion for being outdoors with cameras in tow.

One thought on “Moving Unhappy Box Turtle From Road

  1. Greg Topp

    I once found a Painted Turtle (about 6 inches across the shell crawling across the parking lot at school. I looked at it and found it had deformed back feet, no toes etc. Picked him up and put him in the car and dropped him off in a pond along the road on the way home. His shell was showing the wear of rubbing on the parking lot. Hopefully, he made it in a much better location,

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