New turtle crossing signs save lives

Posted at 7:05 PM, Jul 28, 2016

New signs in Waukesha County are saving turtles.

So many turtles are getting hit when they cross the road, Waukesha County came up with a new way to try to keep them safe and it’s working.

Most turtles at the Wildlife In Need Center in Oconomowoc are here because they were hit by a car.

“It's pretty obvious when they've been hit by a car, we get a lot of shell fractures, we get head injury, we get injuries to the extremities to the legs to the feet to the tail,” Wildlife in Need Center Director of Operations Lisa Rowe said.

There's so many turtles in Waukesha County, you can now find them stenciled right on the pavement, a warning to drivers the half shelled reptiles could be near.

The turtle alerts seem to be working. So far this year the wildlife in need center has taken in 36 turtles which were injured by automobiles. Last year, they rehabilitated 130 of them.

“It seems to at least put it in people's minds that, to kind of keep your eyes open, the same with deer crossings,” Department of Natural Resources Biologist Dianne Robinson said.

Most of the turtles crossing the road are females looking for wetland area, like a marsh or a river to lay their eggs.

“If you have seen a turtle that has not been hit yet, and you think it's safe to stop, send them in the direction that they're already going,” Rowe said.

If you do come across a turtle that has been hit by a car, the best thing to do is to scoop it up and put it in a cardboard box, and then bring it in to a rescue center.