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A Printable Quick Start Guide for Turtle Taxis

Turtle Taxis are folks who help turtles cross roads safely. Click on the link at the bottom of the page for a print-friendly version, then carry a copy with you on your travels for reference.

 
Safety First!  DO NOT endanger yourself. Keep your eyes on traffic. Stay alert. Stay alive!

 
Handle With Care!  The largest snapper can be lifted without anyone being hurt. Approach her from behind. Use both hands to grasp her shell firmly but gently midway between her front and rear legs (see sketches). Her head should face away from you. Lift her just far enough to clear the ground. She will likely kick, stretch her neck up or sideways, and snap. Keep your hair, nose, and hands out of reach of her jaws. Never, ever lift a snapper or any other turtle by her tail! This can cause spinal injury and permanent paralysis.

 
The Customer Is Always Right!  Take the turtle in the direction she was heading when first seen, and put her down well back from the edge of the road.

 
Help the Walking Wounded.  Put an injured turtle in a container that provides shade while allowing free movement of air. Call a wildlife rehabilitator. Contact your state fish & game department or local veterinarian to find one. Or go to The Wildlife Rehabilitation Information Directory (http://wildliferehabinfo.org/ContactList_MnPg.htm). Want to know more? Then check out my Paddling.net column (http://www.paddling.net/sameboat/archives/sameboat818.html) for the whole story.