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Helping Turtles Cross the Road: A Success Story

Helping Turtles Cross the Road: A Success Story

Seeing all the problems in the world, we can often feel powerless and wonder if we can make any real difference. Care2 member Tanya recently sent us this inspiring story about her sister, Andrea, to remind us that one person and one voice can — and does — bring about real change.

It was a Tuesday morning when Andrea came across a big snapping turtle trying to cross a busy road. When she was able to stop and help, she found that the turtle’s shell had been crushed, but was still alive. Overwhelmed and saddened, Andrea moved the injured animal into the shade.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the first turtle to be hurt — many had been injured and killed on that road in a matter of weeks.

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Andrea decided to email the local radio station in hopes that the morning DJ could make an announcement to his listeners about watching out for these vulnerable turtles on the road. Afterwards, he contacted her to tell her what a huge response he’d received.

That same day, Andrea also wrote and sent a letter to the editor to a local paper, hoping the more people that were aware of the turtles and the danger they were in, the safer the animals would be.  

Realizing she had to do more, and fueled by her success with the radio station, Andrea’s next step was to contact the County about putting up turtle crossing signs. However, she didn’t want to just wait around for a response while the turtles were still in danger. She got some friends together to make their own signs and went out to the road to put them up.

While she was there, she found the injured turtle still alive. Distressed, Andrea drove the injured turtle to see Dr. Nickey Brown of Campus Estates Animal Hospital, who agreed to look at the turtle for free. While signing her in, Andrea decided to name the turtle June. After a medical examination, Andrea sadly learned that June had a punctured lung and could not be saved — but her eggs were safe.

The very next day a woman from the County called to let Andrea know the turtle crossing signs had already been erected. They had also left her homemade signs up.

Andrea next contacted the local paper, so she could add a thank you to all the people who had become involved and helped the turtles. The editor then told her this was no longer just a letter to the editor — it had become a real issue. They ran a full story on it.

After finding out her sister had sent us the story, Andrea had this to say:

“To all of those involved in helping me to give June and her fellow turtles a voice — I thank you. Your kind compassion helped to restore my faith in humanity.

To June, I will be forever grateful as she helped to remind me that I do have a voice – it is important — and that by using it, I can make a difference.”

Andrea’s sister Tanya points out that others are just waiting to be inspired by one person’s passion, and with that, we can make real change in the world.

Many turtles continue to struggle for survival. Make your voice heard and help protect sea turtles by signing this petition.


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Photo credit: mahalie via Flickr

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12:01PM PST on Jan 8, 2014

Three cheers for all those who help our animal friends across roads! Bless you for your kindness.

6:22AM PDT on Jul 18, 2013

thank you for sharing 18/7

7:37AM PDT on Jun 18, 2013

In my country, they'd brake, pick up the turtle, kill it and eat it, or give it as a gift to the children, then throw it away when they get bored...

7:29AM PDT on May 31, 2013

St. Francis of Assisi- patron Saint of all animals, big and small, short, or tall.......even Pitbulls! Thanks Linda J. for reminding people. I had to add the misrepresented breed of dog,too!!!!!!! The same day, we saw on a country road, a turtle sunning himself on the cement in the road, at least that is what we want to believe.

7:20AM PDT on May 31, 2013

How strange I should read this turtle story. I was taking my two dogs, Midnight Marie and Wilbur McGee for a ride,not far from our home. We passed something in the middle of the rode that looked like a piece of tire, but I swear it moved. We turned around expecting maybe a baby kitty, but to my surprise, we aided a turtle to cross the rode to the grassy bank.

7:32AM PST on Feb 1, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

11:50AM PDT on Oct 24, 2012

Wonderful news! Thanks for posting for us!

12:39AM PDT on Jul 18, 2012

Great story.Thanks for sharing.

7:54AM PDT on Jul 13, 2012

My mom and dad always stopped to help turtles out of the road when I was a kid so I grew up helping turtles. Whenever I see a turtle trying to cross a road I stop and move him/her to the other side far off the road.

11:20PM PDT on Jul 12, 2012

We have been stopping and moving turtles across the road my whole life. My parents did this and my children and grandchildren do. Children must be taught to respect all wild life and it is so easy to move a turtle.

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