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Tips for helping wild turtles

Photo Credit: Kidsday illustration / Kaylee Fehrenbach

Have you ever wondered where injured turtles on Long Island go for help? One amazing place is called Turtle Rescue of the Hamptons, located in Jamesport.

Sadly, many turtles are injured or even killed when cars hit them as they try to cross the road. Other turtles are injured by boat propellers. Even when you mow your lawn, you should be careful because turtles can be hidden in tall grasses. Turtles are most active from April to October.

Some of the species that end up at Turtle Rescue are Eastern box turtles, snapping turtles, painted turtles and diamondback terrapins. One thing we learned is that you should never try to make a wild turtle a pet. Not only is it illegal, it is unfair to our wildlife! Furthermore, you should never release a pet turtle you bought at a pet store into the wild because it may not survive and may cause problems for local turtle populations.

In our opinion, Long Island needs more turtle crossing signs and wildlife land bridges to help them safely cross busy roads and highways. We researched together and found that the first land bridge was created in France in the 1950s, and places like the Netherlands already have built many that have helped save a lot of animals from being hit by cars. We also learned that it is very important that if a turtle is crossing the road, help them across in the direction they were headed.

If you ever see an injured turtle, you should call the rescue;  it is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is always in need of donations if you would like to help save our local shelly friends!

Info: 631-779-3737, turtlerescueofthehamptons.org

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