A group of first graders at Plaza Towers Elementary School who survived the May 20 tornado were reunited with one of their classroom companions Wednesday afternoon, more than six weeks after their school was destroyed.
Teacher Sarah Tauscher said she searched for the turtle in the rubble but only found pieces of its broken tank, she assumed Franklin did not make it.
Nearly a week later, during massive cleanup efforts in the neighborhood around the school, a young boy and his dad discovered the turtle in some of the debris in their yard. They brought the turtle to a triage clinic for lost pets and from there Franklin traveled to OSU's Center for Veterinary Health Sciences. The staff checked Franklin out and nursed him back to health. During that process they discovered the turtle was actually a female and began calling her Hope.
Wednesday the group from OSU brought Hope back home to Plaza Towers Elementary School in a joyful reunion with the first grade class where the turtle lived all school year.
Tauscher will be teaching at another school next year but she plans to bring Hope with her.
OSU treated more than 60 animals for free after the May tornadoes. Of those, only one still needs a home, a friendly guinea pig the staff says will make a great starter pet for a family with young kids. For more information you can call (405) 744-6740.