Turtles do not belong on Florida’s Turnpike

This is the conclusion that I came to while driving to work today.
As I was cruising down the turnpike, minding my own business, the car in front of my swerved slightly to avoid something in the road. I (being the awesome driver that I am) did the same. As I was driving by I noticed that the object both cars had narrowly missed was a turtle! Mr. Turtle was – quite slowly – making his way across the turnpike. And he was only halfway there.
I’m amazed he made it that far. What is even more amazing is that he would subsequently make it all the way to the median. What he planned on doing once he got there, I can’t imagine. But I’m jumping ahead of myself…
I zoomed by this poor doomed turtle. By the time I’d realized what I’d passed, and how doomed he really was (i.e. risk assessment of me vs. turtle while trying to save said turtle by running out onto the highway) I’d traveled quite a ways. In the end, though, I decided that I had to at least try to help the little hard-shelled monkey. So I hopped off the next exit, paid my tolls, ran all the back North from Commercial Blvd to Sample (I had to make sure I didn’t pass him), and then got back on the Southbound Turnpike.
Lo and behold, I found him. He had indeed made it all the way to the median (it took me forever, between the tolls and the traffic, to get back to him), and was walking along the median, as if a hole would magically appear. I suppose that eventually he would’ve made it to the rest stop, which I believe does have a lake. I wasn’t about to risk it, however, so I grabbed Mr. Turtle, introduced him to my Jeep, and we drove to Motorola together. He explored every corner of my rolling swampy bathtub (and I’m sure felt quite at home, expect for the vibration). When we reached Motorola I called Gibran and we took him to lake Motorola, which has lots of water, lots of fish, and lots of wildlife rolling around in it.
One look of that lake was all it took and Mr. Turtle was waving his arms like mad. I put him down near shore and he scrambled his way down to the lake, where he promptly dove in and swam away as fast as he could. Not even a thank you! It’s okay, though: I know Mr. Turtle is now happier (and safer) than a clam.

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