‘Thomas the Turtle’ released after rehab in Roxborough

On Wednesday, the Schuylkill Center’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic released Thomas, a snapping turtle, back into the his natural habitat after more than a year of treatment.

Pierre Robert, radio personality and animal lover, remembers rescuing the injured turtle off of Route 23 near Conshohocken in May of 2010 and comforting him on the way to the WRC in Roxborough.

‘Hang in there, you’re gonna make it, don’t give up turtle,’ he remembers saying.

Thomas, who is believed to have survived being hit by a car, was brought into the center by Robert with a bad gash on his shell.

13 months later and now fully healed, Rick Schubert, the Wildlife Rehabilitation director, said despite the cosmetic damage to his shell, Thomas is ready to re-enter the wild.

Schubert, Robert and a dozen turtle-hungry media members gathered at the picturesque Flat Rock Park in Gladwyne, Pa. for the release.

Robert, who has been on Philly Rock station WMMR since the 80’s, interviewed Schubert about the condition of the turtle for his radio show. Happy to leave his kiddie pool home at the WRC, Thomas climbed out of his cage and dove into the river before the cameras were rolling; he had to be plucked out of the water for a second take.

Donning thick, elbow high gloves to protect him from the powerful jaws of the snapping turtle, Robert held Thomas and wished him well, “Rock on my brother, live long and prosper!”

The turtle was placed into the water and hesitated only for a moment before swimming away.

This turtle isn’t the only animal that received top-notch care from the clinic. The WRC has treated more that 3,600 animals, over 90 different species, in the past year and releases approximately 60-percent of them back into their natural habitats.

If an injured or orphaned wild animal is found in the area, the clinic can be reached at (215) 482-8217.

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