July 01, 2011
Over his eight NBA seasons, Bulls swingman Kyle Korver(notes) has been known for only two things: looking like Ashton Kutcher and being really awesome at shooting threes. Beyond that, his life is something of a mystery. We can only assume he acts in stage performances of "Dude Where's My Car?" and spends 12 hours every day taking jump shots. Now, though, you can add one more quality to Korver's profile: friend of animals.
On May 25, a turtle found itself with a serious shell crack along Route 23 in Pennsylvania. Luckily, Pierre Robert, a local radio DJ legend, saw him in the road. He pulled over and sprang to action. From Kristin E. Holmes for the Philadelphia Inquirer:
"Its shell was cracked, and I said, 'Oh my God, it's dead,' " Robert recounted. "Then its head moved in and out of the shell, and I saw bright-red blood coming out. It crushed me."
Robert called the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education and the organization's Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic. Rick Schubert, the center's director of wildlife rehabilitation, told him to bring in the turtle.
Meanwhile, another car pulled over to help. It was Kyle Korver, an ex-76er who plays for the Chicago Bulls. Korver, a friend of Robert's who still spends time in the area, coincidentally was driving by.
"There was blood everywhere," Korver said in an interview. "I didn't think [the turtle] was going to make it."
Korver fetched a shopping bag from his SUV. Robert picked up the snapping turtle - a dangerous maneuver, Schubert later told him - and put it in the bag.
Robert placed the turtle on the backseat of his car, next to Lucy, his golden retriever.
"I'm talking to the turtle saying, 'Don't give up, turtle. It's not too late,' " Robert said.
It was not too late for the turtle, since named Thomas. After more than 13 months of rehab, Thomas was returned to the wild with a less attractive, but fixed shell. It was referred to as "a small victory" for local wildlife, but an important one nonetheless.