Turtles crossing: Missouri Department of Conservation urges drivers to use caution

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A box turtle attempts to cross a rural road

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. – As the weather gets warmer, turtles can be spotted more frequently on the roads.

Hunting for food and mates, turtles are emerging from their burrows, sometimes crossing roadways. This can be very dangerous, as drivers might not be able to see the three-toed box turtles, ornate box turtles, or snapping turtles that are all common in Missouri.

The cold-blooded creatures depend on external sources of heat, like warm asphalt.

The box-turtle population is declining and the most common cause is motor vehicles on roadways. The Missouri Department of Conservation urges motorists to look out for turtles and take caution when you see a turtle crossing the road.

The MDC also encourages Missourians to leave these turtles in the wild.

For more information on Missouri’s turtles, visit the MDC online Field Guide at: nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/search/turtle

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