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Old bras are desperately needed to save lives at NC animal rescue group. Here’s why

Carolina Waterfowl Rescue is asking people to donate their old bras, so the clips can be used to help fix the shells of turtles hit by cars.
Carolina Waterfowl Rescue is asking people to donate their old bras, so the clips can be used to help fix the shells of turtles hit by cars. WBTV screenshot

A Charlotte animal rescue agency that has earned a national reputation for taking on lost causes has issued a strange request of the nation’s female population: It wants their old bras.

And size or condition are no issue.

Carolina Waterfowl Rescue specifically wants bra fasteners to treat a recent influx of injured turtles. Most of the turtles have life-threatening cracks in their shells and the fasteners will be used in the mending, officials told the Charlotte Observer.

The request was posted Thursday on Facebook and within 20 hours had more than 5,000 reactions, many from woman who said they admired the agency’s ingenuity.

“It acts like a little fixator,” Keenan Freitas of Carolina Waterfowl Rescue told WBTV. “You basically wire the shell back together.”

The nonprofit agency has been seeing as many as 40 turtles a week the past month, many run over by cars, boats and lawnmowers, officials told the Observer. Freitas says most are hurt when it rains, which is when turtles prefer to lay their eggs, reported WBTV.

Carolina Waterfowl Rescue issued a similarly unusual request earlier this summer, asking people who crochet or knit to create small nests for abandoned baby birds and rodents brought into the agency.

The response was overwhelming, with people from around the country sending in thousands of the tiny knitted nests, officials told the Observer.

Carolina Waterfowl Rescue officials said they got the idea for using bras from Wildthunder Wildlife & Animal Rehabilitation in Independence, Iowa, which posted on Facebook that it combines bra fasteners with zip ties to pull the shells back together while the turtle heals.

Turtles — and all other animals — treated by Carolina Waterfowl Rescue are released back into the wild only when they are fully healed, officials said. If the animal is deemed unable to live in the wild again, the agency works to find it a permanent home.

Bras can be mailed to: Carolina Waterfowl Rescue, PO Box 1484 in Indian Trail, NC, 28079.

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