man pulling up turtle from pond with rope (l) man picking up turtle with bare hands (c) turtle walking on grass (r)


‘Literally at the edge of my seat watching this’: Man saves turtle from flooded pond, sparking debate

‘He saved the turtle. Why is everyone so mad?’


Braden Bjella

Internet Culture

A TikTok showing a man saving a turtle stuck in a pond has gone viral on the platform, rapidly accruing over 24.4 million views. Despite the happy ending, viewers have thoughts.

In the video, a snapping turtle can be seen lodged into an overflow drain. These drains prevent ponds from overflowing in cases where there is a sudden increase of water, such as a rainstorm. @zebadiah528 later confirmed that heavy storms are what caused this overflow, saying in the comments to a follow-up video that this was “not a normal event.”

Over the course of the video, @zebadiah528 makes several attempts to free the turtle from the drain, eventually succeeding.

“Poor little guy,” writes @zebadiah528 in the text overlaying the video.

@zebadiah528 Just put here saving turtles…. The fun never ends!! I’m so glade my daughter and I decided to take a walk around our flooded pond. He had been stuck for over 2 hours before we found him!#pondlife ♬ original sound – user9032776368409

In the caption, @zebadiah528 gave further details on the story.

“Just [out] here saving turtles…. The fun never ends!!” he writes. “I’m so [glad] my daughter and I decided to take a walk around our flooded pond. He had been stuck for over 2 hours before we found him!”

Viewers were quick to compliment ​​@zebadiah528 on his achievement—with many also applauding his 8-year-old daughter’s audible enthusiasm in the video.

“I love the little girl!” wrote a user. “You can tell she’s a sweet soul who cares for animals.”

“You did a amazing job and so did your daughter!,” shared another on his follow-up video. “I would be so scared if I was her.”

“I was literally at the edge of my seat watching this,” expressed a third. “So happy this cutie is ok!”

Soon, however, TikTokers began to criticize @zebadiah528.

“Just close the damn valve,” wrote a user, referring to the wheel that appears next to the drain.

But as @zebadiah528 explains in his follow-up, this would not have the intended effect.

“This valves opens up a drain pipe… out in the middle,” he explains. “So by opening this valve, it would do nothing with saving the turtle.”

This explanation did not stop TikTokers’ critiques.

@zebadiah528 Hopefully helping people who commented on my last video understand. #pondlife ♬ original sound – user9032776368409

“Place a grate over the drain,” shared a commenter.

“You could put like chicken wire over it,” advised another.

However, as @zebadiah528 notes in comments, this would defeat the purpose of the overflow drain.

“Chicken wire would catch debris and clog up extremely quickly preventing the overflow from doing its job,” he wrote. He later added, “Most overflows do not use screens. They would get packed with debris and prevent it from doing its job.”

Furthermore, he explained that pond overflow is rarely an issue.

“This is after a 4” rain storm and the water was abnormally high,” @zebadiah528 wrote. “Usually this would never be an issue and this drain would be about 6” above the water.”

Still, some thought he should add some sort of cover to the pipe.

“Overflow drain should be equipped with a vented stand pipe, the top of which is below ‘critical height’ of basin,” detailed a commenter.

Statements like these led some TikTokers to make jokes about how overly-critical comment sections can be.

“He saved the turtle. Why is everyone so mad? The pond was overflowed and draining,” commented a user.

“Man: Saves turtle’s life in a high stress situation… TikTok: Here’s what you did wrong,” agreed a second.

We’ve reached out to @zebadiah528 for comment via TikTok comment.

The Daily Dot