Hometown Hero: Jordan Gray

CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - Why did the turtle cross the road? Because Jordan Gray was there to help it.

"That tropical storm," said the conservation biologist, "when I saw it on the radar, I knew to be out here."

And Gray was out on Highway 80 all day Tuesday, removing dozens of turtles who had wandered onto the road leading out to Tybee in search of softer ground on the other side.

He had been in the area past midnight the night before when it was raining, checking to see how many turtles might be preparing to move when the weather dried up and warmed up the following day.

"One to two days, beach goers are getting cabin fever," said Gray. "They want to get out to the beach. So are (turtles) they're getting cabin fever. So when that rain hits, the terrapins will wait, once it becomes sunny the next days they will come out and they're looking for a place to nest."

The founder of the Terrapin Educational Research Program of Savannah, Gray has seen a lot of days like Tuesday, and has removed a lot of turtles from the road.

And he says there is a way to do it safely for everyone.

"When we go out and see a terrapin, we do not stop traffic," he said. "We pull over to the side of the road, put on our flashers, wait until it is safe and get out. I know this highway like the back of my hand, I know where the curves are, I know where the dips are, the pulses in traffic. And that's just experience."

And for this WTOC Hometown Hero, it's the experience of saving a life that calls him to the side of the road.

"This is my passion," said Gray. "When I'm out here on the causeway, or any of our volunteers, we're not getting paid to do this. We're doing this because we love the turtles and we want to see these turtles come up and next and complete the cycle without having to worry about getting hit by a car."

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