Here at Hillcrest, not only do we love our cats & dogs, but we care about their wilder (& shelled) counterparts, too! On Tuesday, March 28th we hosted the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre here in our clinic to learn about the organization, including what they are doing to make a difference for our local turtles & how we can all help, too. The Centre is located in Peterborough and is a registered charity that operates as a hospital & rehabilitation facility for injured turtles.
The guest speaker, Wendy, an education co-ordinator from the Centre shared the various levels of endangerment that each type of turtle is facing. Seven of the eight species found within Ontario are at risk. The types of danger that affect each turtle come from cars, boats, dogs, humans…second only to habitat destruction. Recently, the Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry has changed its regulations putting into effect a ban on the hunting of snapping turtles. Prior to the regulation change on April 1st, 2017 Ontarians were permitted to kill 2 snapping turtles per day! The new ban will aid the longevity of their life span, increasing their chances to successfully mature & reproduce, thereby decreasing our odds of losing this particular species.
Wendy demonstrated how to safely move turtles from a busy road, how to help & who to contact when an injured turtle is found. One great recommendation she had was to keep a turtle kit on hand for possible turtle interactions (especially necessary when helping a snapping turtle). The kit was recommended to include a rounded shovel to help safely move the larger turtles, a larger towel, gloves, & hand sanitizer or wipes.
If you weren’t able to make it to this awesome talk, check out Hillcrest Animal Hospital’s Facebook page for the video. Please also be sure to visit the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre’s website for more information on how you can help at: https://ontarioturtle.ca/