P’Tao, Roadkill Martyr, Dies

A photo of P’Tao, a turtle that died Friday morning at Chulalongkorn University after failing to survive a car accident. Photo: VMARC Chula / Facebook

BANGKOK — A tortoise fighting for his life after being run over by a car died Friday morning, according to veterinarians.

P’Tao gets a checkup Thursday afternoon. Photo: Teerapon Tspeed Susilaporn / Facebook

P’Tao (Brother Turtle), a male tortoise rescued by a Good Samaritan after his shell was shattered by a hit-and-run driver succumbed to the severity of his wounds and died at 6:15am.

Read: Turtle-Rescuing Man is Hero of Thai Interwebs

“I’m sad. I couldn’t help him stay alive, but he fought for his life, and I fought with him as best as I could,” said Teerapon Susilaporn, the 35-year-old auto parts salesman who rescued the reptile. “At least he’s at peace now. He must have made a lot of merit because he helped his friends by getting donations for the veterinary center that cares for abandoned turtles.”

A doctor at Chulalongkorn University’s Small Animals Hospital where P’Tao was being treated, said too many of his internal organs were damaged.

“I’d like to tell drivers that, unlike dogs or cats who run out of the way of an approaching car, turtles are really slow. You can see them from 100 meters away when driving, so please slow down and move the turtle or bring them in,” Teerapon said Friday. “Don’t just drive by and think that the person driving behind you will save them, just sacrifice a bit of your time. Even I wanted to help him, but I couldn’t in the end.”

Other turtles wounded by passing cars at the Veterinary Medical Aquatic Animals Research Center at Chulalongkorn University. Photo: Teerapon Tspeed Susilaporn / Facebook

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