Watch out for road-bound turtles in heavy rains

ROAD RUNNERS: Drivers should watch out for turtles on the roads in wet weather. There were at least three turtle rescues reported in the Eurobodalla at the weekend, with some faring better than others. Photo: Glen Watson.
ROAD RUNNERS: Drivers should watch out for turtles on the roads in wet weather. There were at least three turtle rescues reported in the Eurobodalla at the weekend, with some faring better than others. Photo: Glen Watson.

Drivers are being warned to watch out for turtles in wet weather as heavy rains bring the creatures onto roadways and into the path of oncoming cars.

Heavy rainfall can trigger turtle migration, with many turtles vulnerable to being hit by passing vehicles as they venture onto the roads in search of flowing creeks and swamps.

Road-crossing turtles can often be mistaken for rocks from a distance and have little road sense.

WIRES Mid South Coast reported two cases of turtles crossing Eurobodalla roads on Sunday and coming off second best.

WIRES spokesperson, Sandy Collins, said one turtle was euthanised after a run-in with a car left it with a cracked shell, fractured femur and smashed ball joint.

In a second sad case, a female turtle was run over near Tuross Head, causing her to release her eggs, despite serious injuries, Mrs Collins said.

“Luckily someone stopped and collected the injured mama and her eggs,” she said.

RESCUE: Eggs released from a turtle at Tuross Head after it was hit by a car at the weekend.

RESCUE: Eggs released from a turtle at Tuross Head after it was hit by a car at the weekend.

“They were transported to a carer overnight and then straight to Caseys Beach Vet on Monday morning where Mama was deemed repairable.”

The lucky turtle is due in for surgery on Wednesday and her eggs have since been incubated.

A Bay Post/Moruya Examiner reporter (who may or may not be the author of this piece) had a close call with a road-bound turtle in Batemans Bay as it dodged passing traffic in Bavarde Avenue on Saturday.

SAFE AND SOUND: An Eastern long-necked turtle shortly after it was rescued from a Batemans Bay roadway on Saturday.

SAFE AND SOUND: An Eastern long-necked turtle shortly after it was rescued from a Batemans Bay roadway on Saturday.

The animal lover was left in hysterics as she pulled over and witnessed several vehicles narrowly miss the Eastern long-necked turtle.

The lucky turtle was rescued without injury and released in a nearby creek, where it is hoped it will not venture onto roadways any time soon.

The encounter did pose questions for the reporter on what to do in a turtle roadside rescue situation.

What to do if you find a turtle on the road ...

Wildlife Rescue South Coast advises turtles be moved to the side of the road they were heading towards.

If the turtle appears to be hurt, a cracked shell may be repaired before it is released back into the wild.

If you do find a turtle on the road, be careful when picking it up. Make sure it is picked up by the shell, not its limbs, and hold it away from you.

Eastern long-necked turtles are known to release a strong-smelling liquid when stressed, which can leave behind a persistent and unpleasant odour.