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Michigan Woman Stops Crowd Attacking Frightened Turtle

Michigan Woman Stops Crowd Attacking Frightened Turtle

Editor’s note: This post is a Care2 favorite. It was originally published on November 2, 2011. Enjoy!

By Anita Springer of Michigan (USA)

We live in a development of approximately 75 homes. Next to us was one undeveloped lot. One day I heard a commotion there and looked out to see about 10 adults and several more children yelling and cheering. Upon closer inspection, I noticed a huge snapping turtle on its back with its head flaying around to thwart off the sticks that were being used to poke at its head and legs. I went ballistic! I raced out there, yelling at the adults in the group.

“‘Don’t you adults realize what you are doing? You are teaching these children that it is okay to torture and torment an innocent, helpless animal who, in all likelihood, was there to dig a hole and bury its eggs.”

The crowd went silent as I quickly righted the turtle. I realized that I had no container to put the animal into, so I carefully picked it up two thirds of the way down from its head and held it out from my body (I know from past turtle rescue attempts that they will pee as a defense mechanism). I ended up, turtle in hand, sliding down the steep bank back to the river where I released it.

After I climbed back up, the crowd had dispersed, and except for telling my own adult children and my husband about the incident, I forgot all about it.

About five years later, our entire complex had a summer potluck which we attended. I knew few of the adults there as we both worked and had no small children to engage us with other parents. I went around and introduced myself to a group of about four couples. I said, “Hello, I am Anita Springer and we live at the end of this street.”

You Are the Turtle Lady!

One of the men said “No, you are not Anita Springer, you are ‘The Turtle Lady.’”

Evidently, he was one of the turtle harassers and his children have often reminded him of being careful with wildlife or the Turtle Lady would go after him. I can’t begin to tell you how gratified I was that I had succeeded in teaching a lesson that should have been unnecessary if parents had done their job.

When I relayed the incident to my son, he replied “My mom, the ‘closet radical’ for environmental and animal welfare has struck again.”

So now, in addition to this moniker, I can also proudly lay claim to fame as being a ‘Turtle Lady.”


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Photo credit: © Vanillastyling |

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7:59AM PDT on Apr 17, 2014

Thank you very much !!

2:29AM PDT on Apr 15, 2014

the world need more people whit this heart and attitude. What a courage !!!

1:55PM PDT on Apr 12, 2014

Anita, you are a woman after my own heart; much love and respect to you

8:38AM PDT on Apr 12, 2014

The power of one. Thank you for this.

12:57PM PDT on Apr 11, 2014

Definitely my kind of human being. Don and QE CAN! :-))

1:16PM PDT on Apr 10, 2014

Bless you, Turtle lady!

12:07PM PDT on Apr 10, 2014

Wear that title with honor!! Sometimes parents need to be taught how to be good parents and human beings.

7:56AM PDT on Apr 9, 2014

Thank you for standing up for the animal there should be more people like you. Congrats on teaching both the adults and children a lesson.

7:42AM PDT on Apr 9, 2014

I send my applause to the Michigan woman who had stopped crowd attacking the frightened turtle. It's good that she made a protest, yelled at the adults in the group for torturing an innocent, helpless turtle. She not only saved the turtle and put it back to the river, she left a lesson for the adults to teach children to take care of a helpless animal and not to cause pain.
"The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing": Albert Einstein
I appreciate Anita Springer for taking some actions and not standing as a silent spectator! I'm sure, she had left an impression not just on a few children but on adults in her community as well.

4:32AM PDT on Apr 9, 2014

Thank you Turtle Lady! It's nice to hear that you didn't only help the turtle but also made an impression on at least a few of the children!

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Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches ancient Greek, Latin and Classics at Saint Peter's University in New Jersey.... more
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