If you think that bras have no other purpose than supporting women’s bodies, think again. A wildlife rescue organization in North Carolina last month put out a very unusual request on Facebook calling for people to donate their old or ill-fitting bras to help save turtles with cracked shells. Carolina Waterfowl Rescue uses the bras, or more specifically the clasps, to repair the shells of injured turtles.
The spring season when turtles move onto the shoreline to lay their eggs can be a perilous time for the reptiles. Rainy weather can also drive turtles out of their watery habitats, increasing the animals’ chances of colliding with cars and other shell-crunching machinery.
When treating fractured turtle shells, it’s important for experts to stabilize the injury. Unstable fractures are painful for animals—just as they are for humans—and mobile shell fragments also will not heal. The problem is that there aren’t many specialized tools to treat severe turtle wounds.
Enter the humble bra clasp. The clasps are glued on either side of a shell fracture, then pulled together with a zip tie to stabilize the injury. Once the shells have mended, the clasps are removed and the turtles are released back into the wild.