JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — Turtles are known for taking it slow, and that can lead one of the longest life spans in the animal kingdom, but sometimes they need a little help along the way.
Central Mississippi Turtle Rescue is a registered non-profit that’s dedicated to helping injured of displaced turtles get back into the wild.
They could use a little help of their own. Christy and Luke Milbourne rescued their first turtle back in 2006.
“Since then, we have found an unbelievable number of people that care about turtles and are just excited about what we are doing..” Christy said.
“We have helped hundreds on hundreds of turtles, either just simply getting them across the road or out of a ditch,” Luke said.
Mississippi is home to numerous species of turtles. Dangers range from cars and dogs to gunfire and loss of habitat.
“What we do is, we bring them in, and we give them X-rays,” he said.
“We treat wounds. We give them all sorts of medications. Many times we can wind up saving them and getting them back out into the wild, where they belong, or at least give them a peaceful end, and not being out on the roadway being eaten by fire ants or buzzards.”
“Rehab the turtle as best as possible, get them back out in the wild, where they belong,” Luke said. “If not, then we try to find an appropriate home for it.”
Tax deductible donations are welcome at centralmsturlterescue.com. Turtles play a vital role in Mississippi’s ecosystem, and they’ve been here a lot longer than we have.
“Turtles don’t hurt anyone,” Christy said. “If they are in your pond, they are not ridding your pond of fish; they’re ridding your pond of the dead, diseased fish.”
From Terrapins to tortoises, shelled reptiles have a powerful ally in Central Mississippi Turtle Rescue.
“These creatures are just amazing. Their structure, their history, they’re just amazing,” she said.
If you stop to pick a turtle up on the road, make sure to place them in the direction they were going, or else that turtle will just turn around and walk back into the road.
In case you were wondering, Christy says the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are red-eared sliders, and red-eared sliders are native to Mississippi.