The spring brings more than just warmer weather. It also brings turtles out of hibernation.

Turtle activist, Bri Bri the Turtle Guy says that turtles are slow to wake up from their hibernation, which means you need to watch out for them when out for a drive. While turtles are known to be quite smart, they take around a month to wake up from their slumber, he says. “They’re disoriented when they first come out of the ice,” Bri Bri says. He says their first priority is to look for food, not to make sure they’re safe. That’s why he says it’s important we do our part to make sure they are kept safe. Once they wake up, he says they are smart enough to be aware of their surroundings when it comes to traffic and other animals.

Bri Bri says the biggest challenge is “human righteousness.” He adds his number one rule when talking to people about helping turtles is self-preservation. “Look left, look right,” he says you should do before walking into the middle of the road to help a turtle.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, many turtle species are listed as threatened, endangered or endangered. Bri Bri says the positive work we do today in keeping turtles safe will be seen by future generations.

“My goal is to pass what I know along to other people which multiplies and multiplies and multiplies,” he says. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can help turtles, email Bri Bri at bribritheturtleguy@gmail.com. “It’s 25 hours a hour for 7 months,” he says about the work he does teaching people about turtles. “I love it.”

Written by: Mathew Reisler