2023 Patients


Freya came to our clinic on June 24th and unfortunately passed away that night. We wanted to share her story because her story should be told.

Anyone who drives down Fort Hill Ave, in Pittsfield MA, knows it’s a pretty long and straight road. The speed limit is 35 miles an hour. Freya was headed back across the road to her pond after laying eggs when she was intentionally struck by a very large vehicle.

Frey was huge, she was 50 pounds and about 3.5 feet long. We estimate Freya was around 100 years old. About 100 years ago when Freya was born, there was likely a dirt road she might have had to cross. Cars were just becoming popular and weren’t even traveling there quite yet. In fact, there probably weren’t many houses build on that road. Freya reached sexual maturity at 20 years old and started crossing that dirt road every year for 80 years to lay her eggs. In 80 years, Freya likely laid about 3,200 eggs in her lifetime! Unfortunately, most turtle eggs do not hatch, and most hatchlings do not survive to adult hood. It is likely that about 160 of her children over the past 80 years. If her final clutch hatched it is likely that 1 or 2 out of 40 will make it to adulthood.

We are extremely saddened that her life was intentionally taken by a wreck less driver. The people that called us said they had been living in their house their entire lives and have watched Freya since they were little children. After Freya’s passing, we went to Fort Hill Ave, to help another large female across the road, who could possibly be one of Freya’s children. We also gave a couple of homeowners Turtle Crossing signs in hopes the get people to slow down and pay attention to the road.

Meet Morris

Morris was found in a woodchip pile. The finder wanted to keep him as a pet. Thankfully someone encouraged him to call us. Morris likely would have died if he didn’t come to our clinic. Morris had a large piece of wood that was lodged into his yolk sac which had also ruptured. A hatchling shouldn’t emerge out of its nest until its yolk sac as fully absorbed. Because Morris’ yolk sac was ruptured and had the wood in it, he was highly susceptible to an infection because inside the opening of the yolk sac, all of his organs are also exposed. We carefully removed the piece of wood, cleaned with wound and applied a topical antibiotic ointment and then tied off the yolk sac. Morris also received regular antibiotics. He is staying with us for the winter in our Head Start program.

Meet Cooper

Cooper was found on the side of the road in late August. He was sluggish and wasn’t moving much. After bringing him back to the clinic and assessing him. We learned that he has a recent eye injury, his eye was no longer there but was infected. We were able to treat the infection and release him back to his home!

Meet Tesha

Tesha was kidnapped as a hatchling and kept as a pet for 3 years. The owner called us late in the year wondering if they could release her. Because she has been in captivity all her life and it was close to the fall season, we told the owner they couldn’t release her this time of year. She also needed to be assessed to see if she could be released back into the wild. We are still determining if releasing her back into the wild and will make a decision in the springtime.

Tesha is extremely overweight, and her shell isn’t in the greatest condition. Turtles require very specific care to keep them healthy. Tesha was being fed pellets and treats several times a day every day. Captive turtles only need to eat pellets 3 to 4 times a week and should be offered greens daily. They also require very specific lighting. The obvious reason she is overweight is because she was overfed. Her shell isn’t in the greatest shape because she was never provided with the proper UVB linear lighting. This type of UBV light helps turtles to absorb calcium properly and contributes to a healthy shell as they grow.

A turtle that is overweight experiences a lot of pain because their organs are squishing together. We are working on getting Tesha to a healthy weight and we can’t wait to show you photos of her progress!

Meet Enki

Enki came to us on July 3, 2023. Enki is a Great Barrington native and is estimated to be around 70 years old. He was laying on a boat ramp for 2 days. When we arrived at the scene, we could tell that Enki needed help. His eye is protruding out. Unfortunately, his eye couldn’t be saved and was surgically removed by our veterinarian. Enki did wonderful in rehab and was able to eat well on his own and was released back to his home!

Meet Cedar

Cedar game to us on June 25, 2023. Cedar is a wood turtle Native to New York. I received a call from a wildlife rehabilitator who needed assistance with him. Cedar was hit by a car and sustained major head trauma. His skull is fractured, as well as his jaw, and his bridge was fractured as well. We did receive special permission from NY, to rehabilitate him. Cedar needed a feeding tube because he wouldn’t eat. We tried on several occasions to get him to eat on his own with no luck. Cedar was transferred to Tufts wildlife clinic in late October. We initially dropped him off to see if we could get his jaw repaired, and unfortunately there isn’t anything the vets there can do. Because of the way his jaw healed he is only able to open his mouth about 25%. We decided to keep Cedar at Tufts so they can work with him on eating. Hopefully they have success, if they do, he can come back to us!

Meet Yara

Yara came to us on July 11, 2023 and is estimated to be around 25 years old. She was hit by a car in a school zone, in Lenox MA. She has a fracture extremely close to her spine and is very lucky to not be paralyzed from it! She is also missing a small portion of her carapace and some of her scutes were sheared off. This little gal will be spending the winter with us as it will take a very long time for her wound to heal.

Meet Gamera

Gamera came to us on June 25, 2023. He is native to Vermont, and he is a Wood Turtle. We received special permission to rehabilitate Cedar from Vermont Fish and Wildlife. Gamera was found by a dog who decided to chew on him. His carapace, and plastron both sustaining injuries. Luckily the finder was attentive and called us right away. Even injuries like this are extremely painful for turtles. Gamera will be returned to Vermont once he is healed up enough!

Meet Luna

Luna came to us on June 30, 2023 and is estimated to be around 14 years old. She was hit by a care and sustained very serious injuries. As you can see in the photos above. Luna’s bridge which is part of the shell that connects the carapace to the plastron, is completely missing. In most cases turtles have a hard time surviving this kind of injury. usually because there is major organ damage. Luckily for Luna, her organs are intact! This will take well over a year for her to recover from. Her bridge will grow back, but it’s such a slow process and we want to keep her organs clean and free from bacteria that we decided she was a good candidate for using beeswax. Beeswax acts as a natural barrier, keeping her organs protected from germs and keeping it water tights, so she can still spend some supervised time in the water daily. Luna is carrying eggs. We have induced her once and were unsuccessful getting her to lay her eggs. We will be inducing her again in hopes she can do it. If it doesn’t work this time. She will require surgery to remove the eggs. If the eggs do not come out eventually that can kill a turtle.

Meet Bobby Ross

Bobby Ross came to us on June 10, 2023 after being hit by a car. He is a Lenox, MA native and is estimated to be around 8 to 10 years old. He sustained several fractures to his carapace, and a bad fracture that goes across his entire plastron. He also has a split in his tail. Bobby Ross should make a full recover and will be in our care for a while.

Meet Ash

Ash came to us on May 28, 2023 after being hit by a car. Ash is from Montague MA, and is estimated to be around 2 to 3 years old.

When he was traveling across a road, a wonderful woman stopped to help him across, as she approached Ash, someone ran him over right in front of her! As you can see from the photos he has several fractures to his carapace and plastron. Ash should make a full recovery!

Meet Leaf

Leaf came to us on May 8, 2023. Leaf is a Richmond Mass native. Someone ran him over and he sustained major fractures to his face, and a fracture to his carapace. Leaf will be staying with us for the next year while he recovers. Severe fractures like this take many months to heal. Leaf is about 23lbs and we believe he is around 60 years old.

2022 Patients

Meet Shelly

Shelly came to us in 2022. She was found by a biology student who was studying turtles in the wild. She found Shelly sitting in some grass, her eyes were crusted over and swollen, and both of her front arms were missing and severely infected.

Take a look at the photos of Shelly when she came in, and what she looks like now!

Shelly upon admission
Shelly Fully Recovered!

Upon her arrival to our clinic, we weighed her and then administered fluids, antibiotics and pain meds. Once Shelly seemed to feel a little more comfortable, we cleaned her up and applied ointment to both of her eyes as they had severe infections. Upon further inspection, we determined that her arms had been chewed off by some kind of predator animal, we think a raccoon. She still had bones exposed and both arms were severely infected and starting to rot. It took several months for her arms to heal. We are happy to announce that she has made a full recovery, however her arms will never grow back. We have decided that release is no longer an option for Shelly, and she will stay with us and become our official ambassador.

Some of you may wonder why or how this happened to Shelly. When females are ready to lay their eggs, the venture quite far from their water source. When they find the perfect place to lay eggs, they dig a hole to lay them in, which can take several hours. It is quite exhausting to venture so far out of water and then dig a hole and then lay them all. We think she must have decided to rest for the evening before going back to her pond. We think a raccoon could smell the freshly laid eggs and ended up finding Shelly instead. Over the course of several months as Shelly’s eyes and arms started to heal, we noticed some issues with her carapace (top shell) and her plastron (bottom shell). There were getting these little pits that were getting infected. We believe the animal that attacked her had also tried to chew on her shell. It can take weeks to months for small shell injuries like that to show up. But we were able to clean the areas and they have healed up beautifully!

Meet Penelope

Penelope came to our clinic in on June 25, 2022. She had been run over by a car. Her carapace was fractured in several places. We cleaned her wounds and were able to set her fractures. She has had a few setbacks with minor bacterial infections on her carapace. She is almost ready for release in the summer of 2023.