JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KFVS) - Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the other side. Well, turtles want to get to the other side of the road, too.
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is encouraging motorists to brake for turtles crossing the road.
Turtles have a higher risk of being hit in the springtime because they are on the move, and let's face it they move a little slower than other animals.
According to the MDC, young males make up most of the traveling turtles because they are searching for their own territories and female turtles, but females also may have to cross a road as they search for nesting sites.
Another factor is comfort. Turtles are reptiles, which means they are cold-blooded, and basking in the sun on warm asphalt feels great on cool spring days.
The MDC encourages motorists to slow down when they see a turtle in the road and, if possible, safely steer around it. Be sure to check for traffic and carefully move the turtle across the road in the direction it is traveling.
You can watch a short MDC video on turtles crossing roads at youtube.com/watch?v=4KaTQ66uBhY.
Three-toed box turtles, ornate box turtles, and common snapping turtles are species often seen crossing roads in Missouri. For more information on Missouri turtles, visit MDC's online Field Guide at nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/search/turtle.