Turtle abandoned at library becomes attraction

Kids drawn to reptile and reading

Roeland Park, Kan. - Everybody knows the library is full of stories. The Cedar Roe Library in Roeland Park is no exception.

This particular story started with a mysterious noise.

"We heard something scurrying around in the trash can of the men's restroom and it turned out it was a turtle," said John Helling of the Johnson County Library.

The turtle in question is a Red Eared Slider. Why someone left him in the library men's room is a mystery. But the librarians were unanimous regarding what they should do next; they gave him a home - in the library.

"We didn't expect it when we first met him, but we come and see him almost once a week at least," patron Stephanie Nielsen said.

His story pulls at patrons heartstrings.

"I like that they found him, but what I didn't like was someone threw him into a trash can," 8-year-old Declan Nielsen declared firmly.

Being librarians, they just had to name him Yertle, after Dr Seuss' famous book.

Now he is sort of king of the pond. The water is warm and there's plenty to eat.  And he doesn't lack for attention. Fortunately, he has some hiding places to retire too when it all gets too much.

"He's tremendously popular, everybody likes to come and see him," Helling said.

It looks like Yertle's story has a happy ending.

"We love it because we can come here and visit the turtle here, instead of having a turtle in our house," Stephanie Nielsen admitted.

"We're glad to have him. I think he's glad to have us," Helling said.


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