Thursday, February 28, 2008

One Flipper Turtle

My hopepage for internet use is MSNBC. Late yesterday an article on a sea turtle with one flipper was featured. The poor guy had probably been 'almost lunch' for a shark, and had only one complete flipper left.

He was taken to a rescue group on South Padre Island where, in most cases, he would have been put down, but one of the group asked to be allowed to attempt to save him. He has healed up nicely, but unfortunately can only swim in a clockwise circle thus basically keeping him captive the rest of his life in shallow water.

Since sea turtles live to be over a hundred years old, basically someone would have to keep and care for him a loooong time.

But then a group of doctors heard about his plight, and have intervened. One, a dr from Houston, who does reconstructive facial surgery. They are going to give this turtle a prosthetic flipper. The reason they are excited about the dr who is going to be working with them is that she does work on small joints.

I grew up on a farm and was basically taught that animals are for our use, meaning if it couldn't give milk or lay an egg, it was food. Oh, we nurtured a few kittens and puppies, and several baby piglets, but never, of course, to this extent...we were poor farmers!

I do favor the humane treatment of animals, but I also wear leather shoes. When I first read this story, I'm thinking hmmm, Turtle Soup!!!, but the more I thought about the turtle, I was really glad they are doing what they can to help it. Why, you ask? If these doctors can do anything that helps the rest of us humans , it will be a good thing. If one adult or child have better quality of life as a result of what is being done here, then this turtle will have served a purpose. And let's face it folks, sometimes I wonder if I've served any purpose.

My only concern at this point is, will it ever be able to return to the sea, and will it be able to out swim the shark next time, and will it ever be able to have a full filling life, or will the other sea turtles shun it and make fun of it? Remember little Nemo's under-developed fin and how the other clown fish laughed at him?

I worry about these things, do you? And do you feel like you are serving a purpose?

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