It’s been quite a year for turtles in trouble.
At the Blue Ridge Wildlife Institute at Lees-McRae College, we’re used to seeing animals who have fallen on hard times. Most of these critters are young. They’ve fallen out of a nest or have lost their parents; their life has gotten off to a rough start.
Turtles are a little different. Most of the time, they aren’t babies when they come through our doors. They’re adults, and as with people, that means they might be 20…30…even 40 years old! These animals are, like us, set in their ways, with their own habits and their very own place to call home. And in an instant, tragedy strikes, and their lives take a sudden and frightening turn.
It can take more than a year at BRWI before an injured turtle is released – a rough year for an animal who’s often badly injured, in a new and unfamiliar place. What’s a turtle to do following such a catastrophe?
They do something that all of us have had to do at some point: they recover, and then they move on with their lives.
I think we can all take a bit of comfort knowing that, just like turtles, we are capable of healing after even the worst of circumstances. It often takes a long time, and a bit of help from those around us…but before long, we’ll be back on our feet, ready to start a new chapter. That’s a good lesson to take from a turtle: Be patient and resilient, and soon enough you’ll be back home again.