ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The Missouri Department of Conservation has a request of motorists: Please don’t hit the turtles crossing the road!

The MDC says turtles are at higher risk this time of year because they are on the move: Males are in search of territory and females. Females are in search of nesting sites. And they also enjoy the warmth of the asphalt.

If you see a turtle on the road, you’re asked to slow down and safety steer around them, or if it’s safe, help them cross the road – carefully.

“Their mouth parts can bite, and their claws can scratch,” says MDC spokesman Joe Jerek. “So you want to pick the turtles up kind of between the front and back legs on the side of the shell, and hold it away from you.”

Jerek says you should move the turtles the direction they were heading.

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