OMAHA, Neb. — Turtles have hard shells that protect them from all sorts of dangers. But when that danger is a car, things can become deadly.
"So the primary cause, and one of the very few causes of turtles with cracked shells is being hit by a car," Nebraska Wildlife Rehab Inc. executive director Laura Stastny said.
It leaves turtles literally broken.
A viral post is making rounds across social media from the Wildthunder Wildlife and Animal Rehabilitation and Sanctuary Center in Iowa. They're collecting bra strap backings to help repair and heal damaged turtle shells. Founder and director Tracy Belle says they've been overwhelmed by the response. People are sending bra strap backings from as far as the Netherlands and Japan.
The bra strap backing procedure uses an adhesive called marine epoxy to hold the bra strap backings in place. Zip ties are then used to connect the broken shell pieces and let the adhesive harden.
"They're using these hooks in some way, I'm not sure how they do it," Stastny said.
Turtles tend to cross roads to lay eggs, making them easy targets for vehicles.
Here in Omaha, the Nebraska Wildlife Rehab Center uses a similar technique.
"We take some anchors which are for zip ties, or cable ties, and to epoxy them down to the shell so they stick. And then what we do is we take the zip ties and we use that to create tension and pull the edges of the shell together which gives them an opportunity to heal back together again," Stastny said.
To help reduce the amount of broken turtle shells, there are things you can do.
"Pay attention to when they're crossing the road. People can also help turtles by stopping if they see them crossing the road and helping them get across," Stastny said.
If you find a turtle with a broken shell call the Nebraska Wildlife Rehab Inc. Center at (402) 234-2473 as soon as you can.
You can donate bra strap backings to the Wildthunder Wildlife and Animal Rehabilitation and Sanctuary Center in Iowa by sending them to 2584 Henley Ave. Independence, Iowa 50644.