(Des Moines, IA) -- It’s the time of the year when turtles are on the move to lay eggs and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources is warning drivers may see the turtles crossing the road across the state. It's also giving some tips for drivers wanting to help a snapping turtle cross the road. DNR posted on its Facebook page snapping turtles are to be avoided but there are some safe ways to help them across roads or out of dangerous areas. Anyone attempting to pick up a turtle should do so by a back leg with the turtle’s head facing away from the person.
Turtles seen in gravel should be left alone as they tend to prefer that type of surface for laying eggs and nesting. The department is also saying turtles are never to be picked up by the tail, that can cause permanent spinal damage to the animal. If a good Samaritan wants to help a turtle cross the road, the DNR says place the turtle on the side it was heading. Otherwise it will just attempt to cross the road again after you leave. Anyone who touches a turtle should always wash their hands afterwards.