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Joe Kelly Witnesses Awesome Turtle Rescue!

Emily Churchill

I think I’ve forgotten everything I thought I knew about myself. Or something like that.

I – the person who’s always thought it was STUPID for people to stop and save turtles off the road – saw something that had an impact on my whole afternoon yesterday.

I saw a man save a turtle.

For those of you coming late to the party… I’m the guy who chastises people who put their life on the line to save turtles who try to cross roads. I’m the guy who hears about these stories and just shakes my head at the stupidity.

It all changed for me at 1:13pm yesterday afternoon, under a mostly sunny sky in Hamilton Township. I was sitting in my car, stopped, on the jug handle near the Hamilton Mall. Traffic on the `handle was stopped, waiting for the light to change.

Directly in front of me was a 55+ish man on a motorcycle. He looked like the “typical” life-long biker type: long graying hair and beard, wearing lots of leather.

Before I knew if, he jumped off his stopped bike, looked behind him, and ran over a small median, and into the other lane of the roadway. He reached down and picked up the largest land turtle I’ve ever seen. I could see his muscles strain over the weight of this dark-colored reptile. It was huge! I’d say it was twice as big as the man’s head, probably bigger than his torso.

Once he lifted the turtle up, he ran across the road and put it down in the grass. He then jogged over, jumped on his bike, and continued on as the light changed.

I was left thinking, “Wow!”

As much as I ridicule people for doing what this guy just did – it was totally awesome.

At least for now, put me in the column of turtle lovers. It probably won’t last long, but it’s a pretty good feeling!


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