The shell of a turtle is more than just a cover, it’s a vital part of the animal’s skeleton that protects its organs. And although pet turtles are usually safe from the dangers that might crack it, wild ones aren’t so lucky. Fires, and especially cars often damage them, causing serious consequences. However, not every injury they inflict is fatal. With proper care, cracked turtle shells can be fixed, and one wildlife organization has come up with a genius way to do so. Recently, Wildthunder Wildlife & Animal Rehabilitation & Sanctuary took to Facebook, asking for discarded bra fasteners: “We use them to mend our turtle shells!” they wrote. People immediately heard the message and donations started pouring in.

More info: Facebook

Due to fires and speeding cars, many wild turtles face life-threatening shell cracks

Image credits: Central MS Turtle Rescue

But some of these injuries aren’t fatal, and one wildlife organization has found a genius way of dealing with them

Image credits: Wildthunder Wildlife & Animal Rehabilitation & Sanctuary

They asked people to donate bra fasteners from old undergarment that would otherwise end up in the trash

Image credits: Tailor Made

And showed how they use them to give wounded turtles a second chance at life

Image credits: Wildthunder Wildlife & Animal Rehabilitation & Sanctuary

Image credits: Wildthunder Wildlife & Animal Rehabilitation & Sanctuary

The back of a turtle’s shell is called the carapace, and the belly of the shell is called the plastron. Blood vessels and nerves run through the shell. The bones of the shell are covered with a thick layer of skin and hard layers of keratin (the same material that makes up hair and fingernails). These outer layers of keratin, called scutes, shed as the turtle grows and new scutes form. They protect the turtle from bruises and scrapes. A turtle does not ever completely shed its shell and cannot be removed from it.

Just as other animals can have issues with their fur and skin, turtles can have problems with their shells. For example, shells can start rotting due to bacterial or fungal infections. Also, uneven growth of the scutes can cause pyramiding of the shell, which is a deformed shape, and shells can be cracked, split, chipped or broken just as bones can be.

UPDATE: the organization received so many donations, they released a statement, saying they no longer need them

Image credits: Central MS Turtle Rescue

“Wildthunder wants to thank everyone for the amazing outpouring of support from our ‘Bra’ post for recycled eye portion of the bra closures for turtle shell repair,” the organization wrote today. “We have had such an amazing amount of donations of ‘eyes’ that we no longer need anymore. Thank you!” They promised, however, they’ll be posting links of other rescues who can use the fasteners as well. With that said, Wildthunder still needs a lot of help with taking care of sick, orphaned, and injured wildlife. “Flat sheets, bath towels, non-clumping clay cat litter, medical supplies. Donations to help with vet bills and specialized food each different animal takes. We need contractors to donate labor and supplies to help us build a much-needed flight cage for our eagles and owls and hawks. We need professionals to donate labor and to help repair the air conditioner (it may need to be replaced) and raise money for a new unit and to put gutters on the building. We need volunteers. Wildthunder is 100% volunteer-based. Wildthunder is a non-profit 501c3, run on donations and out of pocket funding. We want to thank all of you for your support.”

People loved the initiative

If you would like to donate to Wildthunder and help them take care of animals, visit

Other donations can be sent to Wildthunder wars 2584 Henley Ave. Independence, Iowa. 50644

Contractors or those who would like to donate supplies, please contact them at

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