Construction workers rescue turtles out of Wilmington Island ditch


    Rodney Ferrell holding up one of the turtles he rescued on Wednesday on Wilmington Island. (WTGS Fox 28) <p>{/p}

    Residents who live near Concord Road realized they had a problem on their hands. The ditch next to the road, home to hundreds of turtles, was set to be filled.

    The turtles had nowhere to go.

    “Big turtles, little turtles, they don’t know where to go. This has been home to them and now all of the sudden they have no home,” said Nancy Newman, who lives nearby.

    What could have been these turtles last moments, turned into a second chance at life.

    It's all thanks to the construction workers working on that ditch who decided to save them.

    “After lunch, I pulled them myself, and the guy behind you, we pulled maybe 15 and that one big one," said one of the construction workers, Rodney Ferrell.

    On Wednesday, he said he and his coworkers spent the day fishing out turtles from the ditch.

    “First job I had saving turtles," said Ferrell.

    Ferrell said they rescued close to 70 of them on Wednesday.

    “We’re just doing the best we can," said Ferrell.

    It's become a community spectacle, as people try to help spot the critters.

    “And I myself have gotten a shovel to try to get them back across the street into the water," said Newman.

    Turtle collectors periodically visit the site to pick up turtles that have been found. They said they have been taking them to the old YMCA on the island along with a few other safe spots.

    Everyone involved said they're doing it because it just feels right.

    “Man, you’re supposed to care about wildlife," said Ferrell.

    Saving the world, at least here on the island, one turtle at a time.

    The construction workers said they will be filling the ditch for the next three weeks.

    They said they will continue to need the community's help in transferring the turtles to their new homes.

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