Injured, rescued turtle lays eggs in rescuer's car
MELBOURNE, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - A good Samaritan pulled over to help a box turtle that had been hit by a car.
Laura Pinto says the creature was upside down in the middle of the road.
"I just thought like, if I don't take her, nobody is going to take her," Pinto said.
She fed the injured turtle strawberries and put her in her car. She was driving from Tampa to Melbourne and hoped to get the turtle some help when she arrived.
But soon after Pinto and her rescued turtle were on their way, she saw something else in her passenger-side floorboard where the turtle rested.
Small white eggs were rolling around on the floor under the turtle.
"I just heard something like ‘pop’ and then there was babies,” Pinto recalled, laughing. “Oh my God, I am a mother or a grandmother!”
Tracy Hampton says Pinto brought the injured turtle to Florida Wildlife Hospital in Melbourne - a non-profit that treats wildlife, funded solely by donations. She says the turtle's shell was cracked but her injuries are not severe.
Unfortunately, Hampton says the turtle’s eggs will not be viable.
“But if we can help her along and breed, she will have eggs again in the future," Hampton said.
The turtle was given antibiotics and she's swimming and eating now. These are signs she will likely make a full recovery.
Pinto says she feels good for saving the run-over reptile, but she says the Florida Wildlife Hospital, which didn't charge her any money, deserves credit.
“Because they are always taking care of all the animals, not just that turtle, but all the animals," she said.