David Verburg, an American sprinter who clinched the gold medal in the 4-by-400-meter relay at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, came under the spotlight once again in 2018.
This time round, the Olympic gold medalist caught the media’s attention for an adorable reason—he used his athletic speed to save the life of an endangered gopher tortoise.
While Verburg was driving down a road in Clermont, Florida, he noticed a tortoise stuck in the middle of an intersection.
The slow-moving tortoise was at risk of being run over by the cars as it attempted to move its way across the busy traffic at a snail’s pace.
Verburg nearly hit the tortoise himself. “I swerved to miss it,” Verburg told The Dodo.
“It was a big tortoise and was probably older than I was. Didn’t deserve to go out that way,” Verburg said, according to MailOnline.
“I figured if I could save it, I should try.”
To save the tortoise from danger, Verburg made a U-turn, stopped his car in the turning lane, and sprang into action.
He sprinted into the busy traffic, picked up the tortoise, and bolted back to his car.
“As soon as I started running I slightly regretted it lol it was a big intersection and my shoes weren’t tied lol (I can show you the shoes) but I am really happy I was able to help the animal out of a stressful situation,” Verburg said.
With a compassionate heart, Verburg then drove to a secluded location, where he planned to release the tortoise.
The apparently shocked tortoise remained in her shell until Verburg rested her down under some trees on the roadside.
“When I set her down, she poked her head out of her shell,” Verburg said. “It feels good knowing I could help an animal that needed it. I’ve always had a soft spot for animals.”
So this happened today
由 David Verburg 发布于 2018年10月28日周日
This heartwarming rescue was filmed and shared by Verburg on Facebook.
“So this happened today,” Verburg wrote.
The post went viral, racking up more than 2.3 million views and over 26,000 reactions.
Many social media users were in awe of Verburg’s heroic act.
“Awwww. You’re a hero!” one wrote.
Another enthused, “My guy! Humanitarian of the day.”
“Your best sprint ever. Great job,” another commented.
Thank you Verburg for putting your amazing sprinting skills to good use! The tortoise might have been injured or killed on the road if not for your compassionate gesture.