North Carolina

Video captures first moments of hatching baby turtles after mom was hit by car in NC

Baby turtles just hatched from their eggs in North Carolina, thanks to help from a volunteer group.

Video from Carolina Waterfowl Rescue shows one of the newborns trying to wriggle its little legs near a broken shell. In another, a turtle appears to be pushing itself from its broken egg — slowly.

After all, it is a turtle.

Carolina Waterfowl Rescue on Sunday posted the hatching footage, which was viewed more than 5,000 times on Facebook by Monday afternoon.

The group says the three turtles of the river cooter species were the first ones that started hatching this season.

They came to the rescue after their mom was hit by a car in Charlotte, director Jennifer Gordon told McClatchy newsgroup.

The mom was “trying to cross the road to lay eggs” when she died, Gordon wrote in a Facebook message. Carolina Waterfowl Rescue took out her eggs so they could hatch, she said.

“Mom was killed trying to give them life,” the volunteer group posted on Facebook. “So we honor her memory by finishing what she started.”

The turtles, which are usually on their own starting at birth, will be brought into the wild, Gordon said.

“We do try to get a couple of good meals in them and let them get a little bit bigger before we release them,” she wrote.

For now, the turtles are tiny, barely as big as two fingertips, video posted Monday shows.

The critters can grow to be 9 to 13 inches, according to the Herps of NC website.