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Box turtle brutally attacked on Long Island

July 8, 2011 3:15:44 PM PDT
What happened to the eastern box turtle was so violent and so senselessly brutal it's enough to turn the stomach of an experienced advocate like Karen Testa.

"It's horrible, horrible that someone can do this to a living creature that cannot run away and defend itself at all," Testa said.

She's the turtle expert at the Wildlife Rescue Center of Hampton Bays and has been nursing him back to health after someone took a rusty nail and pounded it right through the defenseless animal.

"It was sticking out, I would say about this much, the bottom of the turtle. And this is how he walked around until this neighbor found him. It was going to be a slow death for the turtle," Testa said.

The x-rays tell the story of the turtle's luck. The nail missed the spine and all major internal organs.

A vet removed the nail and sealed both shells with dental adhesive as the hunt begins for whoever tortured him.

"He was right over here," Patty Burns said.

It was Patty Burns and her daughter, Arlena, who found the turtle Tuesday in their Sag Harbor back yard, which they say has been the animal's makeshift home for over 15 years.

They see him every summer and can't imagine who would hurt him.

"I couldn't believe someone would do that to an animal," Arlena Burns said. "You see this little creature a couple times a year so it's like family, and oh my gosh. How could somebody actually do this?" Patty Burns said.

The family says that turtle rarely, if ever, strayed from their backyard in this secluded spot in the Hamptons, so the question is who tortured it and why?

The SPCA is now investigating this case and there's a $1,000 reward for information.

The number to call 631-728-4200.


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