If you need to find a local wildlife rehabilitator please use this link. Locating Rehabbers.
When finding an uninjured turtle on the road please do not take it home or to a "safer" place. Put the turtle on the other side of the road in the direction it was going in and wish it well. The Box Turtle is North Carolina's state reptile and their numbers are dwindling due to people taking them home as pets and habitat loss. A turtle taken from the wild can no longer reproduce and help maintain the population and often become sick in captivity due to poor diet and environmental conditions.
Studies have show that turtles that are relocated from their home and placed in unfamiliar areas are often killed while attempting to return to their original home and nesting grounds.
It needs your help if it is injured such as bleeding, not moving, puncture wounds, labored breathing, bubbles coming from nose, eyes swollen shut, has large growth (abscess) on either side of head, dehydrated, swollen/broken legs.
What to do:
Put it in an escape-proof container lined with a towel. Use a towel or gloves to pick the turtle up.
If this turtle has been hit by a car, please bring all shell pieces that have broken off.
Put it in a dark quiet place away from pets and children.
Do not feed, offer water or give any medical care.
Call a wildlife rehabilitator as soon as possible.
Turtles are injured for several reasons. They are often hit by vehicles, caught by dogs, have respiratory infections, aural abscesses and sometimes kidnapped then surrendered when they become ill.
Handle the turtle very carefully and as infrequently as possible. Sometimes stress from injury and repeated handling can be enough to kill a turtle. Turtles can also carry salmonella, so wash your hands after handling them.
Kristan Hebert Cramer, Reptile rehabilitator
If you need to find a local wildlife rehabilitator please use this link.Locating Rehabbers.