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Turtle Crossings in the Hamptons

The East End is a wonderful turtle habitat. When driving, please look for turtles in the road. They can't get out of our way, so share the road with the fascinating creatures.

While walking my two dogs on Tuesday afternoon in North Sea, I saw a beautiful box turtle in the road. His head was held high over his beautifully colored shell. I walked toward him to move him out of the road and noticed his shell had a large crack. Apparently he had already been hit by a car. Still, I hoped he could be saved and contacted the Turtle Rescue of the Hamptons. He seemed alert, and he could move his limbs. Unfortunately, they determined that he had to be euthanized. I am so grateful to the Turtle Rescue for coming to his aid, assessing the situation and helping him out of his suffering.

I believe he was hit by a car by accident. These little guys move rather slowly; it is unlikely that he darted out in front of a vehicle. More likely someone just didn’t notice him.

Some years ago there was a huge effort by a nature lover to post turtle crossing signs to make people aware that there are often turtles in the roads. Some of these “Turtle Crossing” signs can still be seen today. I hope this blog reinforces that message for drivers. Maybe this little guy’s tragic accident will help us to try to be more vigilant when driving and hopefully spare other turtles.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Teri Kennedy May 23, 2012 at 11:56 AM
Thank you for the reminder to everyone It's a privilege to help a turtle cross the road!
Barry Terenna May 23, 2012 at 12:52 PM
Patrice, Thank you for being so kind to take care of this little fellow. It is a sad story but one that must be presented to the public. The Turtle Rescue of the Hampton does a fabulous job and should be supported. Regards, Barry Terenna
Patrice Dalton May 23, 2012 at 01:06 PM
The Wildlife Rescue Center of the Hamptons and the Turtle Rescue of the Hamptons are amazing organizations that are here when we need them. I am sure they would make great use of donations!
Joseph May 26, 2012 at 10:25 PM
I've taken turtles off a busy road and released them on my property, which is far from vehicular traffic. One of my friends told me that I might be removing them from their babies or natural habitat. Is that true?
Mo Neill May 28, 2012 at 02:04 PM
several days ago on 114 in North Haven, I swerved into the oncoming lane to avoid hitting a turtle, moseying across the pavement. I went a block more before stopping to turn around to take turtle out of danger. When I got to where the turtle was, I was about to exit the car to p/u the fellow when a truck came down the road & smashed the creature. What a ferocious end to this perfect creature! After so many millions of years of evolving on this planet, it can hardly compete with tthe lethal machines driven by distracted or out of control speeding drivers. 25 yrs ago, I would stop many times a week to assist crossing turtles, sometimes several times a day. No more, I have only seen this one hapless turtle so far this year. It seems this very vulnerable denizen we share the roads with will soon be extinct on LI. What a shame & sadness!
Jaguar-Guy May 28, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Helping these great things makes you smile, knowing you've done something good and hopefully assured its survival. Let's keep our eyes open, and help them, and please do it safely thinking of others on the road - no endangering human lives over the turtles. Happy Memorial Day everyone !!
Patrice Dalton June 02, 2012 at 12:21 PM
It is probably better to leave them in the area you found them but bring them off of the road. Turtles lay eggs this time of year, moving them could upset the reproductive cycle.
Patrice Dalton June 04, 2012 at 01:09 PM
Turtle Rescue of the Hamptons offers this guidance: Turtles have a built in homing device. Do not take them out of their territory, they do travel within one mile of that locale. If the turtle you find is on a busy not so ideal location, indeed remove them , BUT please put them either deeper into a wooded area within the mile radius. If there is a water body close by that is where they are from (not beach!) we had one come in and loose their life from dehydration because someone must have put it on the beach for some reason. It will not survive like a aquatic turtle near the beach. They like parklands near ponds or lakes. (but not where they are no woods.) Call me anytime if you are in question 631-779-3737
Cyn F July 25, 2012 at 03:24 PM
I would like to volunteer. How do i do that?
Karen Testa March 02, 2013 at 09:10 PM
please call us Cyn F at 631`-779-3737 for more info. thank you for your interest.
Rick Hoyt March 03, 2013 at 04:01 AM
My son and I were taking a walk a few years ago on a beach and were extremely lucky to witness 2 diamond back turtles laying eggs at the same time ! Mind you, I am a local and I never even seen one.I will not divulge this location to protect them, it was a moving experience that we will always cherish.The other turtles I've seen locally - snapping and painted-sliders, and of coarse box.

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