MELBOURNE, Fla. -- A good deed turns to a memory of a lifetime for a woman visiting family in Melbourne.

It involves a cross-state trip from Tampa and a hurt turtle she found helpless in a road -- which turned out to be pregnant.

  • Woman driving to Melbourne saves turtle on road
  • When inside her car, the turtle laid eggs
  • Turtle taken to Florida Wildlife Hospital, will be OK 

"OMG, this lady just had babies! I'm going to be a grandma! What do I do? What do I do?,” Laura Pinto recorded on her Instagram page.

Pinto, who is from Colombia, was watching a turtle lay eggs on the floorboard of her car. She had no idea what to do next.

On Monday, Pinto was on a trip from Tampa to see her cousin in Melbourne.

Not long after leaving, she spotted a turtle upside down on 4th Street in Tampa, with traffic flying by. She stopped the car, grabbed the animal and kept driving.

"And then she started laying eggs," Pinto told Spectrum News. "Eleven eggs, and I'm like, ‘What am I going to do?’"

Laura Pinto was on a trip from Tampa when she spotted a turtle upside down on the road.

After nearly three hours in the car with the turtle and the newly hatched eggs, Pinto was at her wits end.

She says she called police near the intersection of Evans Road and Hibiscus Boulevard in Melbourne.

“So I received another call, and they told me about this place," Pinto said.

That place was nearby Florida Wildlife Hospital.

"It's kind of like having the baby in the ambulance -- it usually doesn't happen along the way," said Tracy Frampton of Florida Wildlife Hospital. "That was pretty amazing she laid eggs in the car!"

The 14-pound 'Peninsula Cooter' turtle has some scrapes on its shell but is expected to be OK.

Unfortunately the eggs won't make it after a very unnatural birth.

"The eggs aren't going to hatch, but if we can help her, she will be around to breed another day," said Frampton.

For Pinto, an animal lover, she's sad about the eggs but thrilled she was able to help.

"I don't want to receive anything, I am just happy because of the turtle," she said.

In most cases, rehabilitated wildlife is placed back where it was found, but in this case, the Tampa turtle may have to stay in Brevard. 

For more information on the wildlife hospital, visit

If you see a turtle on the road, call FWC at 888-404-FWCC or *FWC.

The 14-pound 'Peninsula Cooter' turtle is expected to be OK. (Greg Pallone, staff)