A behind-the-scenes look at a hospital for severely injured turtles.
Turtles have been around for 220 million years -- longer than dinosaurs. But now their time might be running out. Of the roughly 300 species worldwide, more than half are threatened with extinction. Freshwater, marine and land turtles are all affected. And their biggest threat is us!
As the human race grows and expands on the planet, turtles are losing their homes, suffering the effects of pollution, the pet and food trade, killed by cars as they try to cross roads, and snared in fishing nets or by fish hooks meant to catch other species. Fortunately, a community of scientists, environmentalists and volunteers around the world are helping to protect and save turtles.
The author, Sue Carstairs, is a veterinarian at a turtle rescue and rehabilitation center. She reveals how she repairs shattered shells, broken jaws, and injured skulls, and nurses severely injured turtles back to health for release into the wild. Carstairs also explains how turtle eggs are harvested from injured mothers, incubated, raised in tanks and released into the wild. Organizations around the world performing similar work with land and sea turtles are also profiled.
What can readers do to help the worldwide effort to save and protect turtles? Two examples from the many offered in the book: participate in World Turtle Day, on May 23rd every year, sponsored by American Tortoise Rescue, and lobby for "turtle crossing" signs in nesting areas.