For the umpteenth time in 14 years, I came across yet another turtle attempting to cross a road. I was driving on Ashburn Village Blvd. when I spotted a large turtle heading in the direction of the ball field. I pulled over to coax her off the road and onto the grassy embankment. I have no idea where the body of water is in that area… As I approached her I realized she was a snapping turtle, generally regarded as an invasive species for their indiscriminate appetites. It became obvious she was recently, if not a moment before, hit by a car as blood was just starting to pool. The injuries were horrific. I thought she was dead but as soon as I lifted her, she turned her head toward me. I immediately contacted the Wildlife Center, but as usual, my call rolled into voicemail. My past experience told me it could be days before anyone returned my call as the phones are typically monitored by volunteers. I then called The LifeCenter’s Critical Care unit in Leesburg. They are a partner practice to TLC and located within the same building. They will accept small injured wildlife, including birds. If the injured animal has a good chance to survive, TLC will stabilize the animal then turn it over to an experienced and licensed wildlife rehabilitator. Unfortunately, this turtle was too badly injured and suffering so they chose to euthanize her. She weighed close to 30 pounds. TLC Animal Critical Care 165 Fort Evans Road, NE Leesburg, VA 20176 703-777-5755 www.tlcvets.com/emergency So, if you ever find yourself with a similar injured animal situation and you want to help – first and foremost, make sure it is safe to handle and move. An injured animal in pain will strike blindly if able. Always put your safety first.