Sometimes animals are stuck in places from which they can no longer free themselves. Then they need the help of caring people.
Hundreds of newborn turtles were trapped in the sewers. But fortunately they were rescued by people who acted quickly.
Students at Stockton University in New Jersey are used to helping baby turtles who cannot cross the road on campus. These turtles are then cared for at the university’s animal sanctuary, which takes in over a thousand baby turtles for rehabilitation.
But while searching for the babies, the volunteers encountered another problem.
“When we passed the sewer, we noticed that something was going on inside. As we got closer, we saw baby turtles swimming in the sewer,” said Marlene Galdi, one of the rescuers.
More than 800 baby diamondback terrapins had found shelter for the winter in an underground storm drain. They had lived on their yolk sacs for months, but now that it was time to hatch for spring, the turtles were stuck.
Rescuing the turtles was no easy task, but the rescuers acted quickly: they built a special turtle rescue net by attaching a pool cleaner to a bamboo pole.
Amazingly, the plan worked, allowing them to use the net to reach the drain and collect all the turtles.
All 826 babies were taken to the university’s sanctuary.
The station now houses over 1,000 turtles. Many of them were found on the road after their mothers were killed by passing cars.
Some need permanent support at the station, but most are released into the wild after a short recovery period.
“Hatchlings spend about a year at Stockton in optimal growing conditions to give them a head start before being released back into the wild,” Stockton University explains. “These turtles are 2-3 times larger than turtles of the same age.”