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Post turtle rescue club

The Walma family, in Spencer Township, has been busy rescuing turtles over the last month.

Matthew Walma said he rescued a snapper turtle in Newaygo in May, and a box turtle on Harvard Ave in June.

Ashley Walma rescued a red painter turtle last week at Harvard and 15 Mile.

Ken Walma rescued a box turtle last month on Lincoln Lake Rd and 16 Mile.

Congratulations to all of the new members of the Post Turtle Rescue Club! Please call us at 696-3655 to make arrangements to pick up your certificates and keychains.

As a reminder, if you see a turtle trying to cross the road, pull your vehicle off the road and put on your hazard lights. You only need to help them to the other side, in the way they were traveling, not keep them. Here are some tips from the Turtle Rescue League:

*When picking up a small turtle, grasp it on either side of its shell behind the front legs. The turtle will still be able to kick at you, but many will choose to stay safely tucked in, during the short time you are moving them.

*Keep the turtle low to the ground when moving them. Even small turtles have surprising strength. If a turtle pushes free of your grip, you do not want it to fall and injure itself.

*If you are helping a large snapper, simply push it from behind with a blunt object. Don’t use anything sharp or pokey. You don’t want to hurt the turtle. Although snappers can seem dangerous, they are just protecting the babies they are carrying, like any wild animal, and you need to exercise caution.

*Make sure to put the turtle in the direction it was heading, never turn them around! The turtle is on a mission, and if you turn it around, it will simply go back across the road when you drive away.

*Although you may be tempted to relocate a turtle, don’t. Many turtles have “Home Ranges,” a territory they call home, and when relocated, they will search out ways back. Besides risking many additional road crossings, some turtles, if they cannot find their way back will stop eating and just wander listlessly.

If you’ve rescued a turtle, you can email photos and a brief summary to news@cedarspringspost.com; mail to Post Turtle Rescue Club, PO 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319; or stop in at our office at 36 E. Maple Street in Cedar Springs. Please do not post them to our Facebook page.

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