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.”


Related Stories:

Turtle Falls Off Forest Cliff: You Won’t Believe His Journey Home

Helpful Tortoise Gets a Friend Back on Its Feet (Video)

Man Throws Kitten Like Fastball: Brave Teen Comes to Rescue

Photo credit: © Vanillastyling | Dreamstime.com

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mari s.
mari s.about a month ago

Job well done, Turtle Lady -- keep it up -- you do realize that you saved that turtle's life -- you rescued that turtle from God knows how much suffering and lead him to relief and comfort -- Good work!

Quanta Kiran
Quanta Kiran2 months ago


Lisbeth Alvarado Sanchez

Great story. Thanks for saving this precios turtle.

Lora Flynn
Lora Flynn2 months ago

Yay for the turtle lady!! Children need to be taught not to harm any living creature. I was so traumatized as a kid when the neighborhood kids stoned my cat to death and have fought for animal rights ever since then. At least some of their parents punished them and a group of them got me a replacement kitty but the scars of what they did remain with me to this day. So God bless all the keepers of our wildlife, they are a gift from God and should be treated as such.

CLAUDE Hennie2 months ago

May reptiles bless you Turtle Lady.
People are so stupid and have respect for nobody and nothing. They are just cruel animals again. No more civilized. Shame on them.

MARGARITA Bowers2 months ago

I care for and love reptiles. I want to say a big THANK YOU, SO VERY MUCH for going to the rescue of that poor turtle. God, loves ALL His creatures, and He saw how you took the time to care and help. He will bless you for that. We need more people like you in this world. Your family can be proud of you.

Kira Leeon
Kira Leeon2 months ago

I'm a wildlife keeper and amphibians and reptiles are my specialty. They are much more intelligent than one may think and yes they do feel fear, anxiety and pain...as witnessed by their instinctive urges to escape from harm (in order to avoid pain and anxiety and ultimately death). There is a syndrome whereby an overly stressed animal's autoimmune system is compromised and they may die from the stress. So please educate your children and unsympathetic adults to respect and recognise the rights of animals, both big and small, cuddly and otherwise. They are all deserving of the right to peaceful lives. In the scheme of life....kindness matters.

Pamela A.
Pamela A.2 months ago

Way to go Turtle Lady!!
Wtf is wrong with ppl? If I were witness to that I would probably had snatched those sticks away from those morons and done a little poke and jab to them! Stupid People Suck

Pamela A.
Pamela A.2 months ago

Way to go Turtle Lady!!
Wtf is wrong with ppl? If I were witness to that I would probably had snatched those sticks away from those morons and done a little poke and jab to them! Stupid People Suck

Winifred Greaney
winnie Greaney2 months ago

What a lovely story, well done to you (Turtle Lady)... :)