A heartwarming story emerged from Georgia, where a 12-year-old girl with spina bifida, causing paralysis from the knees down, had the chance to meet Bandit, a paralyzed sea turtle living at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island.
Kendall Barfield, an animal lover, was captivated by Bandit’s size as soon as she laid eyes on the turtle, exclaiming, “Oh my gosh, she’s huge!”
Bandit, a green sea turtle, resides at the center due to a spinal cord injury from a boat crash that left her back fins paralyzed.
Kendall’s parents had previously met Bandit during a business trip and felt that their daughter, who also experiences a paralyzing condition, should have the opportunity to meet the turtle. The staff at the center kindly agreed to make this meeting happen.
Kendall’s mother, Danielle Barfield, expressed the significance of this experience, noting that it provides her daughter with a rare opportunity to connect with something she loves.
She emphasized that this encounter is a meaningful win for Kendall, who often focuses on what she cannot do, rather than what she can.
Kendall herself expressed gratitude for the opportunity and looked forward to sharing her experience with her friends at school.
Sea Turtle Temperament: Are They Aggressive?
While marine turtles are generally harmless, they can become hostile if their privacy is breached by humans, predators, or even other turtles.
At times, sea turtles may approach humans out of curiosity, but they can exhibit aggression during mating, nesting, and fights over foraging grounds.
Their bulky bodies and fast swimming speed in the ocean give them an advantage in chaotic situations, making it easier for them to overpower smaller opponents.
However, sea turtles struggle to defend themselves against larger and stronger predators, such as tiger sharks. Learn more here, Are Sea Turtles Aggressive? [Examining The Evidience].