June is peak nesting season for many different species of Ontario turtles.
The Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre is now busy releasing a number of injured turtles housed at the centre over the winter. It’s all in an effort to prepare for the next onslaught of injured turtles as the season peaks.
Turtle Programs Manager, Donnell Gasbarrini, says last year the centre saw more injured turtles than ever before — until now.
“We took in our 100th turtle for the year (Wednesday). It is over a week earlier than when we saw our 100th last year.”
Gasbarrini says this could be the case due to a number of factors.
Awareness around the centre is increasing, therefore more people are bringing injured turtles into the centre.
Gasbarrini says it could also be due to increased development, especially on the wetlands most turtles call home.
The cause of the injuries varies.
“What we see are turtles that come in after being hit by a car. We do occasionally get turtles in that have a fish hook in their mouth … or that were attacked by an animal. We sometimes get some in that have been hit by boats.”
Gasbarrini says if you do come across an injured turtle, you can move it by gently putting it in a plastic box with minimal water. She is advising people not to give an injured turtle food or medication.
You can call the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre, and it will send a “turtle taxi” to come pick it up.
These taxis are sent across Ontario.