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Nature In The Natural State: Turtles

Did you know that turtles have lived on earth for over 200 million years, since the time of dinosaurs? Today they are threatened in Arkansas by habitat loss, roads, and the pet trade.

How can you help turtles? First, if you see a turtle on the road, stop if there is a safe place for you to pull over, and take the turtle to the side of the road it was heading for. Do not try to carry or touch a snapping turtle—they have strong jaws and can stretch their long necks and easily bite you.

Most turtles crossing the road in spring are three-toed box turtles, in search of a mate or a place to lay eggs. Second, don’t move wild turtles to another location. Many wild turtles have strong connections to their territory and box turtles in particular may die trying to return to their home location.

Third, if you’re building a fence in an area where there are turtles, the bottom should be high enough so turtles can pass underneath.