Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – The Coulee Region Humane Society is asking people not to paint or leave marks on turtles in the wild. CRHS says it has received several reports of painted turtles being found.

Animal experts say people paint the turtles thinking it will help them be seen so they aren’t hit by cars but doing so is causing them more harm than good.

They say the shell of a turtle is a living part of its body, which means covering it with paint can block vitamin-packed rays of light from reaching the shell. A brightly painted turtle would also stick out in its natural habitat, making it easier prey.