How Old Bras Are Saving Injured Turtles

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The rescue uses the bra clasps and wire to hold broken turtle shells together as they heal. Carolina Waterfowl Rescue

With the right expertise, it doesn't take much to repair an injured turtle shell.

Wildlife rehabbers glue the broken shells back together and then hold the pieces firmly in place with wire.

At Carolina Waterfowl Rescue in North Carolina, they found that the clasps on the end of bras were particularly helpful for keeping the wires tightly in place.

The rescue had the clasps on their wish list for months but no one donated any. So they asked on social media for people to send in the clasps from any old bras. Suddenly, the idea took off.

bra clasps
These are the parts of the bra that the rescue collected. Carolina Waterfowl Rescue

People not only sent in their old bras, they even ordered the clasps in bulk and mailed them in.

The rescue recently posted on Facebook that they were overwhelmed with clasp donations and were looking for other turtle rescue groups that would also benefit from the supplies. For those who still want to help, they suggest using the money they would have used on shipping and simply making a donation to the group instead.

"We have so many other things we really need to help with the turtles so if I can ask a huge favor. Please just donate the money you planned to spend on shipping. If everyone did this the turtles would never want for anything again. We help so many animals here and our donations have been really down lately," the post read.

"Since people are willing to spend this amount on postage it would make more sense to just let us buy food and medications that they need and pay the power bill to keep their turtle room cozy."

Recovery, then release

turtle with broken shell and clasps
The clasps are removed once the shell heals and the turtle is ready to be released into the wild. Carolina Waterfowl Rescue

The rescue group helps as many as 40 turtles a week, depending on the season, according to CNN. Many times they've been run over by cars when crossing the street, or they've been victims of lawnmowers or dogs.

The turtles can spend anywhere from three to eight weeks recovering from their injuries. Once their shells have healed, the clasps and wires are removed before they are released into the wild.