Many of the injured female turtles that come in to Ontario Turtle Conversation Centre in Peterborough are gravid (with eggs) so the team there is always on the watch for them.
Everytime you rescue an injured turtle—even one that is severely injured—and bring it to OTCC, imagine this: You might well be saving many turtle lives all at once.
On February 28th, Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre staff had to act quickly when responding to a call from a homeowner in the Selwyn area near Peterborough.
A turtle—we'll call him Chill—had apparently emerged from hibernation early, likely because of the warm weather. When OTCC got to the shoreline, they could see that the back end of the turtle was out of the water, while his head and forelimbs were submerged through a hole in the ice.
It almost looked like an elephant head was emerging from the ice...
With a coldsnap expected, this 31-pound turtle would certainly not survive much longer without swift action. Staff assessed the situation and decided to attempt a rescue.
Here is a staff member making the rescue...
Chill was removed from the ice and transported safely to the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre.
Here he is chilling out back at OTCC headquarters in Peterborough...
On Friday, OTCC gave an update to the public about Chill on their Facebook page, along with these pictures below. They say he has been receiving daily treatments and recuperating well.
Chill will be ready for release in the area they found the big guy once the weather is consistently nice. These turtles can live up to 100 years old, so this old guy—"He has been walking the earth for a long, long time," OTCC says on their Facebook page. "His shell is worn, and he has many scars from different times that have all healed"—now can count some more good years ahead of him.
If you would like to make a donation that will go towards the care of this turtle and others like him, visit the OTCC website here. And never attempt to rescue a turtle on the ice—contact OTCC at 705.741.5000.
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