Watch Out for Turtles While Driving on Colorado Roads Right Now
It's that time of year when turtles are on the move in northern Colorado.
Unfortunately, as more turtles are out and about, wildlife rescues are seeing an increase in injuries to these hard-shelled creatures, especially those caused by being hit by cars.
Over the weekend, a western-painted turtle was admitted to the Northern Colorado Wildlife Center after being struck by a vehicle while crossing the road near Saddleback Golf Club in Firestone. Luckily, this turtle had no evidence of a spinal injury, but it will still require months of care before it can be released back into the wild.
Another not-so-fortunate turtle was admitted to the center a few weeks ago after also getting hit by a car. This turtle suffered severe carapace fractures that separated parts of his shell enough to expose his coelomic cavity. He also endured pelvic fractures. Although his bones will never be the same, the turtle will still get a second chance at life in the wild once he's able to survive on his own again.
The Northern Colorado Wildlife Center explained that in the last 13 days, they've already had four painted turtles admitted into their care after being hit by vehicles.
In addition to the multiple turtles receiving in-patient veterinary treatment, the NCWC has also been called out for several welfare checks regarding these reptiles. In these cases, citizens were concerned after locating a turtle near a roadway or path.
It's important to watch for wildlife on the roadways and slow down and stop if you do see an animal crossing the street in Colorado. Turtles can face severe, if not fatal, injuries when struck by a moving vehicle.
Five different species of turtles live in Colorado: the Yellow Mud Turtle, Common Snapping Turtle, Western Painted Turtle, Ornate Box Turtle, and the Spiny Softshell Turtle.