A private plane took off from Albany’s airport today with some unusual passengers; four Gopher Tortoises.

A good Samaritan brought one of these tortoises to the flint river aquarium after someone witnessed a semi truck run over it.  “We have three more that are going that were transferred from a local rehabber they are sharing the ride,” said Kelly Putnam, a FlintQuarium employee.

It didn’t take long before others caught wind of the situation. “A rehabber in Atlanta caught wind of it and she knew a guy who used to be a pilot who knew the pilot that is transporting them,” she said.

Today Franklin Perry Cawthorn, a local flight instructor, volunteered his time, and his plane to get these tortoises the urgent help they need.

They were flown to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center in Jekyll Island, where doctors specialize in rehabbing turtles.

Once these Tortoises are healthy, they’ll be released. Employees will contact the people who brought them in so they can put them right back where they found them.

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