Turtle Warriors! How to Help an Injured Turtle

Capture

We are excited to hear about individuals of the community and their efforts towards rescuing or protecting turtles.

One of our Turtle Talliers recently aided in the rescue of an injured snapping turtle in the Kawarthas. Lorna Kozmik received a message from her friend Elizabeth George, who spotted an injured snapping turtle on her property in the Asphodel-Norwood area.

Their farm is surrounded by marsh, swamp and a river system, so she regularly sees snapping turtles nesting on her property. This time a turtle had been injured crossing the road. Lorna collected a large Rubbermaid bin with holes she had drilled into the lid, a shovel and gloves and promptly arrived at Liz’s farm.

Together they assisted the turtle into the bin and drove it to the Kawartha Turtle Trauma Center. They were very excited to know they were the reason this turtle would have another chance to live!

Lorna and Liz have since been motivating other members of the local community and social network community to always be prepared to help turtles and what to keep in the car/house for that purpose.

They also register all of their findings on our Turtle Tally database! It’s truly exciting to see members of the community as passionate as we are towards the well being of our turtle friends. Great job turtle warriors!

Helping an Injured Turtle

If you stop for a turtle and find that it is injured, there are a number of wildlife rehabilitators that will take it in and fix it up. Remember that the turtle may have internal injuries that are not yet apparent, so handle with care during transport. Keep the car radio low and take care turning while driving to reduce stress to the turtle. During this time keep the turtle dry and warm. Be sure to record the location where the turtle was found so it can be released back into its home once it recovers.

Do not place it in water or offer it anything to drink or eat. The turtle should be kept at room temperature. If it is in your car, place it in an area away from the air conditioning vents.

If the turtle has died, but you believe it still has eggs inside, many rehabilitators will remove the eggs and incubate them artificially. The eggs can survive in a deceased mother if they are not exposed to extreme temperatures, so it is still worth it to try and get the turtle to a rehabilitator as soon as possible.

What you need to take an injured turtle to a wildlife rehabilitator:

For a small turtles

  • A small container/ bucket/ cooler that the turtle can be placed into. A towel that can be placed in the box so that the turtle does not slide around while you are driving
  • 1′ long is big enough
  • This should be opaque and not clear so that the turtle feels secure
  • You should drill air holes in the top to ensure adequate ventilation
  • Avoid cardboard boxes, they can get soggy and rip

For a Snapping Turtle:

  • A large container/ bucket/ cooler that the turtle can be placed into. A towel that can be placed in the box so that the turtle does not slide around while you are driving
  • 2′ long is big enough
  • This should be opaque and not clear so that the turtle feels secure
  • You should drill air holes in the top to ensure adequate ventilation and Duct Tape to secure the lid of the container

For a deceased turtle with eggs:

  • A container appropriately sized that the turtle can be placed into
  • A towel to place in the container that will keep the turtle from sliding or rolling
  • Excess movement or jostling can affect the attachment of the embryos within the eggs
  • Wrap the turtle in newspaper or a towel
  • A small Tupperware to place any loose eggs into
  • Paper towel or newspaper should be loosely packed inside to keep the eggs from rolling

If you are planning on taking a turtle to a rehabilitator, be sure to call them first. Many function only with volunteer staff and may not be available if you show up unexpectedly. Your call will also give them a chance to let their veterinarians know that a turtle is coming in. You can take injured turtles to the following centres in Ontario:

Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre
4-1434 Chemong Rd.
Peterborough, ON
K9J 6X2
www.kawarthaturtle.org
Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre Inc. 
8749 County Rd 2,
Napanee, ON,
Tel: (613) 354-0264
www.sandypineswildlife.org
Toronto Wildlife Centre
9am – 6pm, 365 Days a Year
60 Carl Hall Rd., Unit 4
Toronto, ON
Hotline: (416) 631-0662
www.torontowildlifecentre.com
Leeds & Grenville OSPCA
800 Centennial Rd.,
Brockville, ON
Tel: (613) 345-5520
leedsgrenville@ospca.on.ca
Turtle Haven & Rescue
Kitchener, ON
uros@sympatico.ca 
www.turtlehaven.ca
Wild At Heart Wildlife Refuge Centre
95 White Rd.,
Lively, ON,
Tel: (705) 692-4478
www.wahrefugecentre.org
Rideau Valley Wildlife Sanctuary
North Gower, ON
Tel: (613) 258-9480
www.rideauwildlife.org

For the most up to date list of Authorized Wildlife Custodians in Ontario, visit: http://www.ontario.ca/environment-and-energy/find-wildlife-rehabilitator

You can also help turtles get across roads safely! It’s easy and pretty exciting —Watch this video about how to safely move turtles crossing roads…even those tricky snapping turtles!

turtle-tally-logo_grayIf you see a turtle anywhere in Ontario, remember to report your sighting to Ontario Turtle Tally. This citizen science programme collects turtle sightings from volunteers across the province. All the data we collect helps us and our conservation partners to identify where turtles live, and helps guide work to protect turtle habitat! Become a Turtle Tallier today!

Env Can and On

—————————————————————————————————————————————————–

For more information about Toronto Zoo conservation programs visit:  http://www.torontozoo.com/conservation/

AAP and TZ

Advertisements