Did you know that there is a segment of the human population that will intentionally swerve out of their way to run over a turtle with their vehicle? An experiment, which has been replicated, found that six percent of drivers would intentionally steer their vehicle to run over a rubber decoy turtle. The decoys were placed on the side of the road, not in the middle, and these people purposely aimed for them.
Turtles, particularly snapping turtles, don’t get the respect that they deserve. These long-lived creatures have been known to outlive the scientists doing research on them. Turtles are reptiles, laying shelled eggs on land that are subject to predation by suburban predators like fox, raccoon and skunks. Turtles are also very cool, meaning they are sometimes taken home by an admirer and forced to live as a prisoner. In some cases, they are sold into the pet industry.
Of course, not all people are sadistic. Some are very well intentioned, taking a creature that has lived in an area for many, many years and bringing it to the Sanctuary. The turtle then faces a harrowing journey to return to its home. If you care, leave them there!
My point is that turtles mature slowly, they’re reproductive rate is low and they live a long time. With people intentionally helping them, hurting them and yes, eating them, they really have an uphill battle. Respect your elders!