Santa Barbara- S County

Careful drivers, there's a turtle crossing the road!

Wayward turtle off Garden Street

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Normally, we think of turtles moving at a snail's pace. But apparently, that's not the case when it involves an escape.

A NewsChannel 3 crew caught sight of a wayward turtle outside Alice Keck Park Park Monday afternoon. The Red-eared slider was about to cross busy Garden St. when it saw the news camera, then made a bee-line down the sidewalk, hungry for a little attention.

Dana Versola, Senior Grounds Maintenance Worker with the City of Santa Barbara, said it's not uncommon for these turtles to get up and go.

"It's my understanding if they're laying eggs they usually try to migrate towards Garden St. for some reason," Versola said. "And then a lot of times they go in the street where you guys had found them.  So, either they'll tell us or people like yourselves will bring them back and we put them around the pond."

Versola said a similar occurrence happens from time to time in the area between the Santa Barbara Cemetery on Channel Dr. and the Andree Clark Bird Refuge off East Cabrillo Blvd.

"The turtles, by the cemetery, they would go towards the ocean and they would go in the street so I'd have to stop all the cars and grab the turtles and put them back by the bird lake," Versola said. "I think it's a migration thing, laying eggs."

The Red-eared sliders are semi-aquatic and normally lay their eggs close to where they live and eat.


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