Teen Saves Leatherback Sea Turtle’s Life

Just recently, we brought you news of a kindhearted police officer who saved the lives of 100 baby sea turtles. They would most certainly have died in a hotel parking lot if he hadn’t collected them and chivvied them to the ocean, giving them a chance to enjoy a wild, free and happy life. His random act of kindness was a reminder that anyone can do a quick good deed for animals, and now we’ve got another story about sea turtles for you, this one from Trinidad.

17-year-old Elias Pereira was enjoying the charms of the beach with his mom last year when he saw a female sea turtle stranded in a lagoon formed by recent rains; the lake-like pool was near the beach, but didn’t actually connect to the ocean. After laying her eggs, she’d gotten confused about where the ocean was, and she was obviously distressed. Some people might have walked on by, writing it off as an interesting sight and nothing more, but not Pereira.

Instead, he waded in to redirect her. It was quite a task, because sea turtles are large, forceful and independent when they want to be. He found that the most effective way to herd her was to stand in front of her in order to encourage her to turn around and head towards the ocean, but sometimes she butted his shins in an attempt to get past him, forcing him to stand his ground against a large, confused and upset sea turtle.

His good deed was well-timed: leatherback sea turtles aren’t really meant for freshwater, and she wouldn’t have survived long in the lagoon if he hadn’t rescued her. Thanks to his determination and quick thinking, she made her way to the ocean and to freedom, so she’ll have a chance to lay eggs another year. Hopefully in the future, she won’t get so turned around when it comes to the sea, the shore and the freshwater that doesn’t lead to the ocean.

He posted an amazing album of images here, showing both his rescue and the beautiful turtle he saved. They are definitely worth a careful look, and prepare to be amazed by how gentle and focused Pereira was when he got to work with strategizing a way for getting this confused turtle out of trouble. The next time someone tells you teens are always up to no good, point them in the direction of this story!

Photo: fredsharples.

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Carrie-Anne Brown

great pictures and article, thanks for sharing :)

Loretta P.
Loretta P.1 years ago

Awesome!!! Just goes to show a kind gesture goes so far. Thank you Elias for helping this turtle. Wonderful article and magnificent photos. Thanks for sharing.

Kate S.
Kate S.2 years ago

Nice to hear of his good deed!

Marianne C.
Marianne C.2 years ago

Smart boy! Kudos for his wits and determination.

Virginia Abreu de Paula

Elias Pereira. I wonder if he is Brazilian. Looks like a Brazilian boy. And for sure his name is common in my country. Cool and smart boy. Loved the pictures of his album. But I am here also to warn you about and ad where we read: 5 signs you'll get Alzheimer’s. I was silly enough to believe and ordered the doctor's book. It was never sent to me. And I paid for it. Maybe it will arrive some day but...it's been a while and they are out or reach. No way to ask the reason it is taking so long. Oh, but I really started reaceiving bulettins about health each and every day. More than one a day. All of them always selling something. I believer some articles may be good but...I had never asked for that. I only accepted one by the doctor which would arrive only once a month. So, be careful if you are thinking about ordering anything.

Patchur W.
Patchur W.2 years ago

thanks, pet lovers!!

Sonia Minwer-Barakat Requ

Kudos to Elias Pereira,thanks for sharing

Nyack Clancy
Nyack Clancy2 years ago

Thank you

Kay M.
Kay M.2 years ago

holy crap that's a big turtle. I don't often see pics of them with a person for comparison. awesome job.

Spencer Young
Spencer Young2 years ago

He's a super ninja turtle saver