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Wednesday, April 14, 2004

The great turtle rescue 

This was the cryptic note left on my desk. Hmmm, I thought. What could this mean? Then it came to me. My husband had called me ten minutes earlier telling me he had found a turtle in trouble and wondered what he should do. I suggested he try to bring it home and we’d then figure it out. So, the turtle was safe in the garage and my husband needed vodka!

Seriously though, with all the building and expansion that the human population does we are slowly moving animals out of their natural habitats and into smaller and smaller areas to live. We see animals of all kinds dead on the roads around here because of it. My husband rescues, or tries to, any living thing he sees in harm’s way and so it was with this turtle.

Harlan was traveling home on a two lane highway and saw to his right a turtle hanging off the curb almost falling into traffic. He got to a place where he could safely turn around and came back just as the turtle fell off the curb. Before he realized what had happened Harlan ran across the road, scooped up the turtle and got back to his car. Lucky for him it wasn’t quite rush hour or they both would have been smashed.

So, back to the story of his short garage stay. We started looking around on the Internet for a place where we could take him – a turtle rescue, if you will. Then we decided it would be smart to call our vet. Diane Perry of Feline, Avian & Exotic Animal Hospital in Dunedin FL is one of the most kindhearted and caring people we know. We knew she would be able to recommend a place for us to take the turtle. Sure enough, my husband called and the office told us to come right over. So we did. Turns out Diane takes the turtles to designated safe havens depending on whether they are land or water types. This guy turned out to be a snapping turtle, although he wasn’t very snappish with us. Probably because he knew he’d been given a second chance to snap at someone else.

Well, it was a happy ending for this turtle and I hope we can share many, many more happy tales for our animal friends. Happy Gardening and please try to rescue a few of these poor animals when you can. Now, what about that vodka?

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Thanks to Andrew Stenning who contributed the photograph for our masthead

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