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!