Man Performs Heroic C-Section on Dying Turtle to Save Her Babies

A scientist in the U.S. has been hailed as an "awesome human" after performing an emergency C-section on a dying turtle in order to save her unborn babies.

Eric C Martens, a gut microbiome scientist from Ann Arbor in Michigan, took to Twitter to share a story he told followers "starts sad but has a happy ending."

"In early June I got out of my car coming home from work to help a turtle cross the road in our neighborhood, only to find that a careless driver had already hit and killed her," Martens wrote.

An avid reptile fan with over 20 snakes, it quickly dawned on Martens that the turtle had been searching for a place to lay her eggs when she was killed.

Though he realized there was little he could do to help the mother, it was not too late to preserve her eggs.

Taking her back to his home, he performed what he modestly described as his "best attempt at a turtle C-section" and was able to successfully extract seven perfect eggs.

He placed the eggs in a substrate and began the incubation process.

Fast-forward to August 1, and Martens, who is a father of two, was celebrating an altogether different set of new arrivals.

I brought her home, did a secondary euthanasia just to be sure and then my best attempt at a turtle C-section, which revealed 7 perfect eggs (attached picture) that I placed in substrate and started incubating (2/4).

— Eric C Martens (@EricCMartens1) August 1, 2021

"Today her eggs started hatching," he revealed.

"So far with 2 fully emerged and healthy and at least 3 more on the way."

He even shared an adorable picture of one of the newborn turtles to show just how tiny they are when they first come out of their shell.

Having played his part in bringing them into the world, Martens now plans to release them out into it by returning to the wild.

"They'll get a few days to get to full strength and maybe a meal or two before going back into the same pond their mom came from," he explained.

I forgot to note that they are crazy tiny! pic.twitter.com/zSXRJSP2Y5

— Eric C Martens (@EricCMartens1) August 1, 2021

Martens' story struck a chord with animal lovers across Twitter with his heartwarming thread chronicling the story retweeted over 1,100 times on the platform.

He's also been flooded with messages from people in awe of his efforts

Maggie Corns wrote: "Wow! You are such a kind man! This story made my day! I love the spiritual symbolism with the rainbow. You definitely were a steward of God's creation that day!"

TexasHeartNurse commented: "This absolutely made my day! My faith in humanity has been so shaken by this pandemic. Thank you for restoring that faith by being an awesome human! Thanks for sharing!"

Elizabeth Robertson Heatley was impressed at how Martens handled the situation.

"That really was a lucky turtle in spite of her untimely death," she said. "What a wonderful thing to do. And hats off to you for being so knowledgeable!"

Marianne Denton declared: "You're the kind of person I always hope to be. Thank you."

Marilynn Mendell concurred: "Brilliant that you could do all of that! Marvelous human! Our world needs more like you. Wonderfully happy ending. Thank you."

Some suggested it could even form the basis of a book.

"This should be turned into a kid's book. Thanks much for your kindness and compassion," Dr Yane Valdez T wrote.

Antisocial Butterfly agreed: "This needs to be a children's book. Amazing......thank you."

Newsweek has reached out to Martens for comment.

A baby turtle and a coin.
Scientist Eric Martens shares a snap of one of the baby turtles he saved. Eric C Martens/Twitter