Local resident Tasha Kristina is a strong advocate for turtles and this week, she and others made an interesting find outside Salamander’s restaurant. “My boys came across momma snapper laying her eggs by the Salamanders restaurant, so my son biked back to notify me,” said Tasha. “I headed over barefoot to see for myself! I waited there for a good two hours until she was done and watched her head back to the water safely.”
Tasha, wanting to protect the eggs, obtained permission from the Municipality to place a nesting box over the eggs. She got the go-ahead within minutes, and obtained a nesting box from L&G Turtles in Brockville. “They call me the crazy turtle lady,” Tasha joked. “I think the momma in me came out that day because all I wanted to do was protect them. I look forward to seeing those baby snappers peek their little heads through the dirt in about 60 days!” At the time of writing, Tasha was building a nesting box to protect turtle eggs on South Gower Drive.
What do you do when you encounter a turtle? Tasha shared this information:
If the turtle is not injured and is simply trying to get to the other side of the road, please pull over when safe to do so and help them across! Always move them in the direction they were heading. If the turtle is injured, place it in a dry, deep (they’re excellent climbers) bin with air flow. Make note of exactly where you found the turtle and contact the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre at 705-741-5000 as soon as possible and they will dispatch a turtle taxi to pick up the turtle to be taken to the trauma centre for treatment.
Alternatively, you can deliver the turtle to Perth Veterinary Clinic, as they are a designated a turtle first response centre. Please call first to confirm that they can take the turtle, at 613-267-7373.
Do not feed or try to treat the turtle yourself. Don’t leave the turtle, as the OTCC can only help if the turtle is in your possession. If you are unable to keep the turtle with you, you can contact us to retrieve the turtle 613-803-3925, and we will take over.
If the turtle is dead, please follow the same instructions as if it were injured. Oftentimes, they can seem like they’re dead but actually aren’t. Even if they are, the OTCC can extract and incubate eggs from deceased mothers, as well as take tissue samples for research. All turtles dead or alive are still valuable!
If you come across a nesting turtle, please keep at least two car lengths away so that the turtle doesn’t get spooked and abandon the nest. If it’s on a roadside, please contact us, as we may be able to protect the nest.
If the turtle is nesting on your own property, please consider protecting the nest – you do not need Municipality permission for this. We will gladly provide a nest protector, or I can send instructions on how to make one yourself. Never tamper with a turtle nest or attempt to move the eggs – this is illegal!
Let’s all work together to protect turtles!