Eastern Box Turtle about to enter rehabilitation.

Eastern Box Turtle about to enter rehabilitation.

Lou Browning at his Hatteras Island Wildlife Rehabilitation has quite the reputation for saving the lives of raptors—owls, eagles and hawks.

But he also works his rehabilitation magic on a much wider range of critters. Very occasionally a mammal—usually a possum. He’s saved a few snakes. And turtles. A surprising number of turtles.

It seems for the past couple of weeks, turtles have been the injured animals most in need of help. And to Lou’s credit, he seems to come through every time.

It does take some real ingenuity though.

The Snapping Turtle

Take the snapping turtle that had been hit by a car.

The carapace was broken. Undeterred Lou used an old offshore reel seat, tightened it down with a bolt off a storm shutter, and waited for the shell to heal.

It did and the snapper went off about its business.

A quick note about snapping turtles—they have somewhat of an underserved reputation. You wouldn’t want to put your finger in front of one, but the truth is, they are not particularly aggressive. If they feel threatened, they’ll defend themselves. But their first instinct is to try to get away from danger.

Back to the turtle rehab. This time an Eastern Box Turtle.

The turtle was just sitting there in a water tray. Because she didn’t try to hide at night, a raccoon chewed on her. And the reason she didn’t hide is that she was trying to lay eggs.

Basically the rehabilitation in this case was protect her and let the carapace heal itself.

The eggs were laid but did not hatch.

Hatteras Island Wildlife Rehabilitation has been around for almost 10 years. Browning is one of a handful of fully licensed wildlife rehabilitators in eastern North Carolina.

There are so many tales to tell about the Outer Banks. Come discover for yourself what a wonderful place this is with a visit with Brindley Beach Vacations.