Turtle Shell Repair

In this series of photos, you can see how turtle shell repair is performed.

Doctor Koeppl has performed shell repair for hundreds of turtles over the past few years. His main tools are a small hand drill, 22-gauge wire, and epoxy, along with his passion for wildlife rehabilitation.

turtle shell repair, assessing the patient

The main tools needed for turtle shell repair are a small hand drill, 22-gauge wire, and epoxy.

Repairing a turtle shell


A female painted turtle is presented after being struck by a car. In addition to multiple old injuries, she has a moderate size break in the shell above her head.”

Repairing a turtle shell


The first step is to clean the affected area with wound flush.

Repairing a turtle shell

Next, Dr. Koeppl cleans any loose debris out of the break, and ensures the shell can come back together.

Then, using a high-speed drill, he creates a small hole to wire the shell back together.

He trims the wire down as close as he can, and then covers the connections with epoxy.

Using more epoxy, the gapped area creating the entire shell break area is filled. This is not going to hurt the turtle, and will offer great strength and protection to the affected area.

Once everything has had a chance to cure, the shell is buffed out for smoothness. Extra epoxy is removed and a final check is made on the healing progress.

And of course, the turtle gets to test it out to see what she thinks – and by swimming happily ever after, she said to us that all was well on her end!