How your old bras can help save injured turtles

The Carolina Waterfowl Rescue has a unique method to save our shelled friends.

ByKate Roush via logo
July 8, 2019, 4:13 AM

Bras are meant to be supportive, but what happens when that support can be used for turtles in need?

With a tight budget and a new in-house staff reptile rehabilitator, Carolina Waterfowl Rescue has found innovative ways to help save injured turtles. And one of those ways is none other than the good ol’ bra.

Inspired by another rescue organization, CWR uses the clasps of bras as they assist to make a non-invasive, makeshift cast for the turtle.

PHOTO: Carolina Waterfowl Rescue turtles bra clasps
The Carolina Waterfowl Rescue has found a unique way to help out injured turtles.
Courtesy Carolina Waterfowl Rescue
PHOTO: Carolina Waterfowl Rescue turtle bra clasps
Many turtles in the region get injured, but the Carolina Waterfowl Rescue's use of old bra clasps helps them heal.
Courtesy Carolina Waterfowl Rescue

“The shell is a bone structure, so when it is broken, it is like a broken bone,” Jennifer Gordon, CWR’s executive director, told “Good Morning America.” “The clips are a fixator and it is glued onto the shell with some epoxy. When it is dry, we take a wire and we wire all the hooks together to stabilize and let it heal.”

Carolina Waterfowl Rescue is a nonprofit wildlife rescue center that extends itself to serve both North and South Carolina.

“A catch-all is a good way to put it,” Gordon said. “You can go all the way to the coast and there isn’t another facility that can help these animals, so we can even travel to Charleston.”

The Carolina Waterfowl Rescue specializes in birds and reptiles, but will take in any animal that is in need of care.

Among the animals Carolina Waterfowl Rescue helps is the slow-walking, adorable turtle, which suffer more injuries than people realize.

PHOTO: A snapping turtle is pictured in this undated stock photo.
STOCK PHOTO/Getty Images

Gordon told “GMA” that “90% of all turtles hit are females laying eggs. Yellow belly sliders and snapping turtles only come out of the water one time during the year for that reason.”

There is also a lesson for people who want to help turtles trying to cross the road: do not change their direction!

PHOTO: A turtle is pictured in this undated stock photo.
STOCK PHOTO/Getty Images

“Box turtles stay in a mile radius their whole life. People try to relocate them and be good people by turning them around, but a little turtle GPS tells these box turtles that they need to get back home and end up getting killed finding their way,” Gordon said.

After posting on Facebook their need for old bras on June 27, Carolina Waterfowl Rescue has just begun receiving donations.

As it does not want to waste functioning bras, CWR has partnered with a local women’s shelter to donate the usable bras and only recycle for themselves those that no longer work.

In addition to bras, here is a short list of items you can donate to Carolina Waterfowl Rescue and other wildlife rescue centers:
- Substrate for bedding

- UV lightbulbs

- Heat lamps

- Mealworms (food costs the most)

- Medications

- Rubbermaid totes -- CWR drills a hole, adds mesh, and ta-da! A perfect turtle hospital.

PHOTO: Carolina Waterfowl Rescue turtles bra clasps
The Carolina Waterfowl Rescue takes in injured animals from both North and South Carolina.
Courtesy Carolina Waterfowl Rescue

Wherever you are, look up your local wildlife rescue center. Notify them of injured animals you find, and if there is a hurt turtle on the side of the road, their slow metabolism means there is plenty of time to help save their life!

If you would like to contribute to helping the turtles and other animals in need at CWR, you can send items to: Carolina Waterfowl Rescue, P.O Box 1484, Indian Trail, NC 28079