Things That Matter

A Wildlife Sanctuary Is Using The Eye Closures From Discarded Bras To Help Save Sea Turtles

The surf, the sand, and the sun all make the beach to be the perfect habitat for summer fun. Yet, it isn’t just people who hit the beach at this time of year. When the weather gets warmer, turtles make their way onto beaches around the world to lay their eggs. It’s a dangerous yet necessary journey for these endangered animals. In coming to land, turtles are often manhandled and injured by cars, other wild animals and unnecessary human interference. 

This can leave them with potentially life-threatening damage to their protective shells.  

However, one animal shelter has discovered a brilliant way to rehabilitate these turtles and you can help them with this cause.

Facebook / Wildthunder Wildlife & Animal Rehabilitation & Sanctuary

Located in Iowa, the Wildthunder Wildlife & Animal Rehabilitation & Sanctuary is one of many shelters that use wire and eye and hook clasps to repair these busted up little guys. At the end of June 2019, a post about this innovation was shared by the sanctuary’s Facebook page. The post was then boosted by the Carolina Waterfowl Rescue and soon went viral; gaining tens of thousands of likes and shares. 

What the Wildthunder Sanctuary uses are the kind of clasps you find on bras, some swimwear, and certain lingerie. It may seem like a strange tool but it’s extremely effective. The rescuers gently glue the shells back together and then use the clasp method to make sure the shell stays put. 

“We just kind of weave wire through the eyelets, and as time goes on you can make them tighter,” Keenan Freitas, one of the staff rehabilitators at the Carolina Waterfowl Rescue, explained to TODAY. “It’s pretty simple, it’s effective, and it works the best out of anything we’ve used.” 

The response was immediate and the Wildthunder Sanctuary has been inundated with donations of bras. 

Facebook / Wildthunder Wildlife & Animal Rehabilitation & Sanctuary

As appreciated as the donations are, receiving whole bras kind of provides extra work for the rescuers. If you would like to donate your discarded clasps, please remove them from the bra BEFORE sending them to Wildthunder Sanctuary. If your bras are still wearable, sanctuaries ask that you donate them to a local women’s shelter instead. Donations of new clasps are also greatly appreciated and can be bought in bulk. 

As the Carolina Waterfowl Rescue pointed out, they have more needs than just bra clasps.

They have set up an Amazon Wish List full of items that will assist in their further rescue of turtles, birds, and other local wildlife in need. You can also make a direct donation to the cause here. If you live in the area, consider volunteering as help is always needed.

The wildlife rescuers caution that if you find an injured animal ⁠— turtle or not ⁠— your first move should always be to contact a shelter or your local wildlife rescue. If you need to remove a turtle from the place you find it, be sure to write down the exact location. Turtles spend their whole lives in one territory and this protected species needs to be returned back to its habitat to continue its happy Tortuga life. 

In response to the shared pics of rehabilitated turtles, Twitter and Facebook let out a collective “Awww.”

Twitter / @TallNose

While most comments ranged around praising the good work of these organizations, this Twitter user had a much cuter take of the whole situation. Sally Scott drew this adorable interpretation of a happy turtle in their brand new donated bra. It probably isn’t what the sanctuaries have in mind when they’re thinking about turtle support, but this is a look we can totally get behind.    

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