It's that time of the year again. As the weather starts to warm up so does the activity with the turtles in the Show-Me State.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is warning drivers to be ware of the upturn of activity by the shelled-wonders. In fact, the MDC is throwing out the slogan-"Slow Down and Give Turtles a Break!" According to the MDC these reptiles are often hit by cars during the warmer months, but are at special risk this time of year because they are more active.

There are three turtles that you are most likely to see when traveling across the highways and byways of Missouri-three-toed box turtles, ornate box turtles, and snapping turtles.

If you're wondering why this is the time of the year for turtles to be more out and about, the Missouri Department of Conservation gives this explanation:

Turtles emerge from their burrows and begin the hunt for food and mates during warm and wet conditions, which can lead them to cross roadways, oftentimes resulting in their death.

Vehicles are one of the leading factors in box turtle declines, and MDC urges motorists to be cautious and slow down when they see a turtle in the road. If helping a turtle make it safely across, check for traffic and move the turtle across the road in the direction it is traveling.

A side note to go along with slowing down for turtles on the roadways, if you have little ones and they want to make a turtle their next new pet, maybe you'll want to think twice. The MDC encourages Missourians to leave turtles in the wild. Taking a wild animal, whether a turtle or other wildlife species, and keeping it as a pet normally ends in a slow death.

Leave turtles in the wild, follow the speed limit, and keep your eyes on the road.

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