Thanks to a Pine Island Cove resident, a 30-pound soft-shell turtle was rescued, brought back to health and released in the Bass Canal the afternoon of Oct. 1.
When Susie Q. Homeier noticed that "Tommy the turtle," as he has been called, did not swim away or move when she walked close to him in the canal, she reached out to the Eagle to acquire Phil Buchanan's phone number, a volunteer with C.R.O.W. (Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife) on Sanibel to come out and rescue the sick animal.
"Phil came right out on that rainy day," she said. "It took about one hour because he was in the middle of the canal, but we got him."
Tommy the turtle was rescued from Bass Canal when he became ill and was released Monday, Oct. 1, after C.R.O.W. nursed him back to health.
Buchanan said the turtle, which he believes to be quite old, was sick and exhausted when he rescued him. He said C.R.O.W. nursed him back to health with vitamins, so he could be released into the wild again.
In the 20 years that he has been a volunteer with C.R.O.W., Buchanan said he has only rescued a handful of soft-shell turtles because they mainly live in fresh water.
"It's pretty rare to rescue a turtle," he said.
Homeier was excited to be a part of the release Monday afternoon.
"He's free again," she said. "Tommy's back living in his canal."
Homeier wanted to thank Buchanan and C.R.O.W. for all they do for the animals on Pine Island. She said she would be willing to help start a C.R.O.W. on Pine Island if anyone was interested.