Through these doors
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Volume XXIII -- Issue One -- Spring 1997
SUCCESS STORY: Hooked on Rehab
by Nancy Rubin, Executive Director
In early November when Foothills Park Ranger Norton Lewis brought in a turtle that had been fished out of Boronda Lake, we knew it was something special. You see, most of the turtles (and all of the tortoises) that come through our doors at Wildlife Rescue are escaped domestic or feral animals. But this one was a native Western Pond Turtle, and it was in big trouble.
Somehow, the unfortunate reptile got a fish hook stuck in his throat -- and despite the efforts of Ranger Lewis , Wildlife Rescue's Animal Care Coordinator, Chrissy Piotrowski, and WRI Reptile Team Leader Rob Steele, it just wouldn't come out. It seems the hook was just too far down the turtle's throat to dislodge.
Although the little guy didn't seem to be suffering, he was in desperate need of help. So we turned to one of our wonderful veterinarian friends, Dr. John Thielen of the South Peninsula Veterinary Clinic in Palo Alto. After more than an hour of surgery, Dr. Thielen was finally able to remove the stubborn hook and put the turtle back on the road to recovery.
For the next five days, the reptile convalesced at The Rob Steele Home for Wayward Turtles, where he got plenty of TLC (not to mention crickets and mealworms) before being released back into the wild.
If you'd like to see a fine example of a Santa Clara native reptile, look for this turtle on your next hike around the lake at Foothills Park. But please, leave your fish hooks at home.
A very special thank you goes out to Dr. Thielen for his help with this turtle -- and for the many other wild animals he's seen for us over the years.