The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has apparently prioritized turtle safety as a big issue this summer – they are asking motorists to stop their cars and pull turtles off the road if they see them:

Turtle nesting is underway in Wisconsin

MADISON – Anyone traveling Wisconsin roadways has likely seen the broken shells and other soft pieces of a once living turtle. Some are of the small painted turtles, while others are large snapping turtles. Their misfortune is the result of them trying to cross the road to find food, mates, or especially at this time of year, suitable nesting sites.

Turtles grow slowly in northern climates, according to Bob Hay, an amphibian and reptile biologist with the Department of Natural Resources…

“If you see a turtle on the road — and only if it’s safe to do so — carefully pull over and help the turtle to the side of the road it is facing,” he says, but cautions that people should never put themselves or other drivers at risk when stopping.

When helping an aggressive turtle — such as a snapping turtle — off the road, the safest way to avoid being bitten is to gently drag it across the road by it tail, leaving the front feet on the pavement. It may help to use a stick that the turtle can bite, allowing one to grab the tail more safely.

So let\’s just back up, here.  First of all, the only way I\’m helping a turtle is if the turtle agrees to drag me to the hospital when I get hit by another car.

Secondly, as mentioned in the release, turtles are mean.  There isn\’t a turtle that would hesitate to peel your wig back if it had fingers.  And free will.  So when a turtle bites your finger off, are you supposed to lay on the road and wait for a bunny rabbit to come by and sew it back on?  Is that the natural order of roadside assistance?

Plus, everyone knows that the best way to protect turtles is to allow them to carry concealed firearms.

The best part of the release is the final line:

People should also be aware that the turtle season is closed until July 15 each year, so picking turtles up off the road as pets or for food is illegal. Anyone who observes this being done should contact the DNR hotline at 1-800-TIPWDNR (1-800-847-9367).

Now wait – I\’m expected to pull over and save a turtle, but what do I get in return?  I can\’t either eat him or put a little army helmet on him and have him play with my G.I. Joes?

Man, the DNR sure is bossy.