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Yes, These Turtles Are Still Alive

Written by PETA | April 9, 2014

PETA rescue workers discovered these two turtles beside local roads. Although they were mortally wounded, both turtles were still alive and suffering immensely when we found them. They were quickly and mercifully put out of their misery.

As the weather warms up, turtles are becoming increasingly mobile. If you see a turtle attempting to cross a road, lend a hand.

Turtles in danger of being struck by a car (but who are uninjured) should be helped across the road. Pick them up by grasping them firmly by both sides of the body, in front of their hind legs. Be careful not to drop them! Large snapping turtles have long necks and can bite hard, so instead of picking them up, gently push them from behind to safety with a blunt object. Don’t use anything sharp that could cause injury.

Remember, when you see turtles in the road or about to cross the road, always keep them moving in the same direction that they were headed. Do not try to make them change course, as they have a destination in mind and will simply try to cross the road again if placed back where they started from. Once they’re safe on the other side, leave them alone. Don’t relocate turtles to new areas, even if you think their current location is odd (unless it is obviously hazardous, such as a busy parking lot). Moving them to an unfamiliar location can subject them to foreign diseases and parasites that they lack a natural immunity to, so that should be avoided.

Happy Turtles (1)

Happy Turtles (2)

If you see a turtle who has been hit by a car, take the animal to a veterinarian or an animal shelter to be assessed and, if necessary, euthanized. Turtles have an extremely slow metabolism and can take days or weeks to die, even when they are severely injured.

For more tips, visit PETA’s “Wildlife Emergencies” page.

Commenting is closed.
  • Marlene says:

    Please be gentle with animals! Respect nature.

  • Danny says:

    This is so sad. Why do people do this?

  • attila says:

    What really bothers me is when people use animals as ‘target practice’. Sometimes they see a hapless, innocent one of God’s creations, and drive toward it. I’d like to think that the human did it during a dark night and they didn’t see the animal(s). I use my fog lights and high beams whenever possible. As soon as an on-coming motorist passes me, I turn back on those additonal lights. BELIEVE ME!!! IT HAS BEEN A GOD-SEND FOR THOSE ANIMALS, ‘CAUSE I SEE THEM IN TIME!! Another method I use is a gentle tap of my vehicle’s horn when I’m traveling. That too has given animals ample horning that ‘something’s coming and it’s heading my way, I’d better stay in the bushes’. I’ve had much success with these methods.

  • ann says:

    Our mall has a swamp next to it and I always know when warm weather is here to stay because the turtles are out. One day i stopped to let them cross and an _____ passed me and ran them over. I was soo pissed. Now when I stop I block the side of the road so I can’t be passed. Some people forget to stop and smell the flowers.

  • Penni Norman says:

    Please, people, slow down and don’t run over these precious turtles and leave them there to die tortuous deaths!!! Pleae slow down, keep alert, and let the turtles live. You’ll feel better about yourself, and I guarantee that the turtle will be thankful to you for saving its life. Please have respect for this sentient being.

  • Jade Simpson says:

    Poor turtles, please people don’t run them over.

  • Nicholas says:

    This is very upsetting.

  • prairiegal says:

    People need to slow down and watch for animals when they are driving. Use common sense!

  • Janne says:

    I own two land tortoises and they are my babies! I can’t imagine this happening to them! I allways stop for turtles and all wild life. I was taught this by my grandparents and my parents. It’s our responsbility to teach our kids to not be heartless an to respect nature. Afterall, nature was here before we where.

  • Christina says:

    we live in southern florida, and are *always* finding turtles by the side of the road – and we ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS stop to pick them up, to transport them in the DIRECTION THEY WERE HEADING. otherwise, they’ll just turn back around. we put them in the trunk, anything – i know MANY people who keep boxes in their cars for this very reason. it’s horrible seeing an injured one, as it does take so long for them to die. THANKS for this info.

  • Niharika says:

    Turtles cannot move fast…but we can drive slow… Merciless!!!

  • tina mann says:

    Please stop this cruelty

  • Zoe says:

    That’s actually made me feel sick that people could do that. Slow down and look where you’re driving so you don’t hit animals. Surely it’s not that hard to give some thought to the world around you!

  • ES says:

    This is so disgusting that people can just leave these poor animals to suffer if they have caused the pain in the turtles. People need to be more aware and more educated on what to do in the case of these emergency’s. ): too saddd

  • Yuval s says:

    I’ve seen one turtle like 15 days ago, I have turned around in orther to help him cross the road (he was right at the middle!!) but when I got there I have already seen another man picking him up.

  • S says:

    SLOW DOWN. Watch out of animals (and people) on the roads. You do not own the road. I have lost count of the times I have had animals, humans, children and balls roll out in front of the car. Be a careful driver, be alert and slow down enough to stop and prevent this horror. Poor turtles.

  • Lorena Mendoza says:

    It breaks my heart to see those injured turtles. I wish I had magic & protect them from harm.

  • Stacey says:

    That is so sad & disgusting..some people really are ignorant and heartless. This absolutely breaks my heart! I wish all this ignorance and cruelty to all animals would just go away!

  • donna Tomanelli says:

    I constantly are moving turtles in new paltz new york,snapping turtles mostly the are abuntant here,cops know me because im always on main strip where there are crossing and Im right behind them so no one hits them they are so cute,I help all animals alot of people run over animals up here and they are still alive,the cops help out when u call them so they are euthinized

  • Angela says:

    i hope they saved the eggs!! that way not all was lost they could still hatch the eggs and produce baby turtles.

  • narelle says:

    What the hell is wrong with some people ? that makes me sooo bloody mad that people don’t care about the wild life around them.Poor turtles how discusting.

  • Jason says:

    I run a website whose aim is to conserve endangered species, and to prevent animals from suffering unnecessarily. This is appalling. These animals would be is unimaginable pain, and it is preventable. If you live in an area near to turtle habitats, please drive safely and wherever you are, help wildlife in danger. I don’t live neara turtle habitat, but I do my best to help the wildlife arround me, and I hope you will do the same.

  • Jenna says:

    I love turtles, and when I was younger whenever my grandfather would see a turtle on the road or on the side of one he would pick it up and bring it home for me to see, and release into the woods behind my house where a creek runs through just because 1)I love turtles and 2) I dont think he ever liked the fact that it was in a populated area where it can get run over. Every now and then I would see those same turtles a few weeks after they were brought to my home and they would be swimming in the creek, chasing frogs, and eating the fish that they came across. If only had a camera at that time and was able to take pictures of how happy they were to share with people on the web, just to prove that animals you help in nature can live long happy lives, without being afraid they would just get killed in the end.

  • catagwen says:

    I always try to save turtles when I can. One time when it was raining I was walking in a parking lot & almost stepped on a beautiful tiny baby turtle. I scooped him up, but I didn’t want to put him in a pond I was in fear he would become somebody’s meal. So I called a local pet shop and they helped rescue him,to find him a new home.

  • Linda says:

    I have always taken a few extra minutes to stop and pick them up bring to my home of which I have 40 acres and a pond and release them. I bring about 7 to 10 home every year. There is no good reason for anyone to try to not avoid hitting any animal that is crossing the road.

  • Lori says:

    People need to slow down when they drive.

  • Carla says:

    That’s disgusting! poor turtles.

  • Sean says:

    The people who done this should be shot. In what universe does anything ever deserve to be treated like that let alone an innocent animal.

  • Aimee says:

    ‘Turtles have an extremely slow metabolism and can take days or weeks to die, even when they are severely injured.’ i do animal care, obviously ours are alive and uninjured, but this is a true fact. they dont die quickly, they would suffer unnecessary pain. people should be careful!

  • Tajemná Temnota (Mysterious Darkness) says:

    It must very hurt! :'(

  • Lou Mika says:

    I’ve seen turtles in this condition at street markets in China; kept alive to keep them fresh, but sold piece by piece.

  • Tajemná Temnota (Mysterious Darkness) says:

    It must [text cut] hurt :'(.

  • lovecats says:

    This is so f*cking sad! The poor things!!! This is just another reason to be a misanthrope.

  • Jen says:

    SLOW DOWN PEOPLE. I CANNOT STAND HOW MANY ANIMALS I SEE DEAD ON THE ROAD. I also picked up a turtle recently that was hit by a car and it was also still alive when I picked it up, but died in my arms. :(What beautiful animals they are. SLOW DOWN WHEN DRIVING!!!!

  • Joana Cibrão says:

    This turtlles dont diserve this destiny,only for money?stop this madness please!!

  • Tori says:

    Oh my God, I can barely stomach to look at these pictures. :/

  • zombie kid says:

    i like turtles

  • Denievec says:

    Oh my!! These pictures are hurting my heart

  • Michael says:

    Poor turtles! And all those eggs! Just as we’re responsible for one another so we are to have regard for all forms of life. Now we just need to give the same regard being presented for these turtles to our children in the womb…they’re alive when being ravaged too.

  • Louise says:

    Sauvé les tortus

  • nicdevlin74 says:

    …were they hit by vehicles accidently or purposely mutilated? Is there any hope of rehabilitation or were they humanely euthenized?

  • K says:

    Where i live, i see this ALL the time. It’s soooo heartbreaking. I’ve seen 2 dead turtles that were large just this past week, one upside down on its shell and the other crushed in the middle. So heartbreaking, i’ll see them walking along the side of the road and i’ll ALWAYS Move them if i can. SOOO sad, makes me soooo angry when i see them crushed.

  • Alicia says:

    My daughter LOVES turtles. She has 3 as pets and we save wild turtles by moving them off the road all the time where we live. Most of the time they look like rocks in the road. Its not suprising someone ran them over and Im sure it was an accident..

  • Christy says:

    I would have done the same Izzy

  • Izzy says:

    last sunday i went horse back riding (as usall) and we saw a turtle on the road we saw it was still alive so we turned off the road & we were completely off the road , but some COMPLETE IDOT comes by & smashes it in front of our eyes , we were going to take it with us to the barn i ride at (because there are woods in the back) but we did pick it up & gave it a proper burrial . even though i didnt even know it i cryed for 20 mintues striaght like it was a family member.

  • Krissy says:

    Conny ummm they were hit by a car…. idk about you but im pretty sure they were dead. maybe had some nerves act up but they were not alive.

  • Pamela Boudreau says:

    Or, get them to a wildlife rehabilitator ASAP!

  • kathy says:

    I recently saw a bird with head missing except perhaps a sliver and it was still alive and moving. Everyone just drove by and didn’t care. I called Animal Control and, thank god, it was during their business hours so they said they would come out. I got so nervous I needed to use the facilities (sorry that’s TMI) so I didn’t see them get the bird but when I came out after a few minutes the bird was gone. So I assume it was them.

  • JULI says:


  • Conny says:

    this cannot be the truth, poor turtles, everybody who kills turtles in this way must be a heartless person.