Due to the various surrounding bodies of waters, Maryland is home to nearly 20 different species of turtle, including box turtles, snapping turtles, softshell turtles, and sea turtles. Many of these species are considered threatened or endangered, so it is important to know what to do when you come across a turtle.
Turtle in the backyard.
A majority of turtles prefer suburban wooded areas and creeks, which means it is common to come across a turtle in your backyard. This is especially true if you live near a pond or stream.
If the creature does end up finding its way into your yard, the best thing to do is leave it alone. Moving or relocating a turtle will only result in injury or death for the tiny animal. Turtles are extremely territorial creatures, which means they will try and find their way back home.
The only valid reason for moving one from your backyard is if it’s in imminent danger. If you are fearful of your domesticated animal coming into contact with the turtle or do not want to injure the turtle when doing lawn work, move the turtle to an area just outside of your property line. This will move it out of harm’s way without completely disrupting its life and survivability.
If you love having turtles in your backyard, you can increase the chances of them returning every year by providing them with the right accommodations. Turtles prefer shallow, freshwater ponds complete with lush aquatic vegetation, insects, crayfish, and mollusks. If you can provide this, you might just have a loyal backyard reptile.
In the road.
Fun fact: the average box turtle spends its entire lifetime within a mile of where it was born. Each turtle has a mental map of the territory it calls home, complete with water and food sources. When a turtle is on route to one of these sources, it might have to cross a dangerously busy road.
The best thing to do if you see a turtle in the road is safely carry the creature across the road in the direction it was headed. If you do not feel comfortable touching it, use a car mat, towel, or another handy object to safely help the turtle across the road. Or you can simply stand guard until the little guy or girl finishes crossing the road on its own.
While trying to protect the it, make sure you are also protecting yourself – put your hazard lights on and watch for oncoming vehicles in the road.
Have A Turtle Problem? Call the Experts at Shumaker Animal Control
If you think you have a turtle problem on your property, call the experts at Shumaker Animal Control to deal with the problem for you. Our experienced team will take care of the problem in a timely manner, ensuring that your home and pets are not in any danger.
At Shumaker Animal Control, we are a family-owned business who cares about the safety of you and your family but also about the well-being of the animals themselves. All of our trapping and control methods are humane, as we never try to hurt the angry or scared animal.
Call us at 443-854-8072, visit our website or fill out our contact form for more information.