Massachusetts highway worker saves stranded snapping turtle

Billerica Highway Department employee Fred Baker used a recycling bin to safely load a snapping turtle that was having trouble getting across Oak Street. Photo from the Lowell Sun

Most highway workers might have more experience with hardhats than with hard shells, but that didn’t stop one Massachusetts man from halting his work to save a stranded snapping turtle.

According to the Lowell Sun, Fred Baker was simply going about his day as a heavy equipment operator for the Billerica Highway Department when he came across a very large snapping turtle stranded in the road.

The turtle, known for its powerful bite, was having trouble getting to the other side of Oak Street in Billerica, and Baker said he took a break to save the turtle and do “what anyone would do.”

Baker used a recycling bin in front of one of the homes near the area where the stranded snapper struggled to get out of the road. With his work gloves to protect his fingers, Baker put the turtle into the bin and took it to the safe side of the road.

Billerica Highway Department Superintendent Ed Tierney said his department has its fair share of run-ins with the local wildlife.

The department had to call the animal control recently after a cat was found stuck in a tree. The department has even assisted police in the past to save six ducklings stuck in a catch basin.

“We do come upon these once in a while,” Tierney said.