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Turtlemania! Shelled Friends Popping Up All Over, Especially In Central Park

Experts: If You Come Across One, Just Leave It Alone; It Will Find Its Way

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Summer is a time to take it slow — and some are really taking that to heart.

Turtles are popping up all over the Tri-State Area, from airport tarmacs to park pathways, CBS 2’s Vanessa Murdock reported Thursday.

From the runways at John F. Kennedy International Airport to paths of Central Park, turtles are making a run for it — some run into roadblocks.

“They literally are crossing the road to get to the other side to dig a hole and lay their eggs,” Urban Park Rangers Sgt. Sunny Corrao said.

For some, seeing turtles strut their stuff on dry land is a bit unnerving.

“Get back in there. They might step on you,” said Juan Reynoso of the South Bronx.

Avid runner Michael Jermyn said he’s run into turtles on dry land.

“We all take great care to avoid them or help them back into the water if they seem to be struggling up at the statue,” Jermyn said.

“They’re coming out of turtle pond. There’s a nice rock slope. I’ve seen at least two of them this season, they go right through this opening in the fence,” Sgt. Corrao said.

They’re turtles on a mission. Anywhere from two to 20 eggs are laid at once. Experts said about 90 percent get predated upon, Sgt. Corrao said. CBS 2’s Murdock saw a bunch that had been ravaged before they have even hardened. The 10 percent that survive will generally hatch in six to eight weeks.

“The turtles are just wonderful. They are really a nice part of the park,” Upper West Side resident David Ehrlich said.

Many turtles that try to escape a pond run into a fence, but it’s not in place to keep the turtles in; it’s to keep the people out.

“The south side of turtle pond, we try not to have people traffic there at all to protect the wildlife and wildflowers that grow there,” Sgt. Corrao said.

If wildlife, for example, let’s say a these turtle happens to cross your path, Sgt. Corrao said leave it alone. It will find its way.

If turtles are getting too close to the road, getting them back on track and away from traffic is a good idea.

May and June are peak egg-laying months. A cool start to the season meant a late start to egg laying this year, experts said.

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