Man Rescues Trapped Sea Turtle That Became Tangled in Tree Roots on Her Way to Lay Eggs

A kindhearted man named Miguel Angel Escobar was in the right place at the right time. During a boat ride with his family in Utila, Honduras, he spotted a sea turtle that had become entangled in some tree roots on the beach. The scene was pretty heartbreaking, as the turtle lay motionless in the entanglement. Hoping there was still something that could be done to help the animal, he got off his boat for a closer inspection.

“I thought she was dead,” Escobar told The Dodo. “We felt such pity for her.” Although the turtle didn't move as Escobar and his family pulled the boat ashore, he and his female companion approached her. The man nudged the creature, hoping she would react. “When I touched her, she instantly let out a sigh and she started to move her head,” Escobar said.

Springing into action, Escobar told his kid to fetch him his bag, where he had a knife. In the meantime, the man tried breaking the roots with his bare hands, splitting a few branches, but not the main one holding the turtle back. All the while, the turtle let out big sighs and softly waved her flippers. Once Escobar had his knife, he began cutting the big branch, which had even begun to prod into the sea turtle's shell.

Even after cutting the root from both ends, the turtle remained stuck due to its thickness and the uncomfortable position she had been trapped in—her hind flippers were also stuck in some branches that were higher up. To finally free the heavy turtle from the complex entanglement, Escobar had no choice but to flip her. Despite the moments of desperation the turtle experienced as she laid belly up and flapping her limbs, it was reassuring to see she still had plenty of energy in her.

Escobar then dragged the turtle back to the water, and once they were in deep enough, the efforts of both man and turtle made it easy for the latter to turn around with a little push. The turtle had been freed, and began to swim so fast no one would believe she had been on the brink just moments earlier. “I thought that the turtle would need to rest on the shore and recover her strength,” Escobar said. “But she instantly swam away, strong and fast, like someone who was jumping for joy.”

Before speeding off to deeper waters, the turtle seemed to come back to the shore as if to thank her rescuers. Escobar's female companion, who recorded the whole operation, can be heard saying “How beautiful! She's alive! How pretty. [She has been] saved!” as the turtle finally swims away.

It is believed that the turtle had  swum ashore to lay her eggs and then got tangled up. Since the WWF considers most sea turtle species to be endangered, Escobar's work may have not only saved one turtle, but also helped a very fragile ecosystem. That's why it doesn't come as a surprise that he has been hailed as a “turtle hero” for his efforts. Ultimately, the turtle's rescue is a perfect example of how we never really know how far a good deed can go. “I feel happy to have helped her,” Escobar says. “It's a great feeling.”

A man named Miguel Angel Escobar spotted a turtle that was trapped in some tree roots. After realizing she was still alive, he sprung into action and freed her.

h/t: [The Dodo]

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Regina Sienra

Regina Sienra is a Staff Writer at My Modern Met. Based in Mexico City, Mexico, she holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications with specialization in Journalism from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. She has 10+ years’ experience in Digital Media, writing for outlets in both English and Spanish. Her love for the creative arts—especially music and film—drives her forward every day.
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