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“They’re slow to heal:” Interesting materials used to piece turtle back together

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MILWAUKEE -- A turtle is hit by a car and his shell is shattered. He might only have survived a day without the help of the wildlife experts at the Wisconsin Humane Society.

A broken shell to a turtle is like a broke bone to a human.

Scott Diehl, director of the Wisconsin Humane Society Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, is using some interesting materials to piece the turtle back together: epoxy glue and cable ties.

"The cable ties are gently tightened until they bring the two pieces of bone, the shell in close proximity, so they can heal," said Diehl.

It's a method often used to save turtles hit by cars. Something that happens a lot this time of year, as females look for soft soil to lay eggs. Painted turtles are common in this area. They live in slow-moving fresh water.

Right now, the turtle has to be in a hospital-size cage, but eventually he's going to graduate to a bigger one, and as he heals, they'll be able to put him outside in an enclosure to get him used to wild habitat.

Diehl says the turtle is not suffering.

"He does get daily pain medication until we feel the fracture is stable enough," said Diehl.

The cable ties will stay on for several weeks.

"We often check the stability of the whole set up, to see how things are going," said Diehl.

Wildlife experts at the Wisconsin Human Society will release the turtle back into the wild in August.