Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre in Napanee sees influx of turtles run over by cars
The turtle ward at Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre in Napanee is one of the busiest spots at the centre’s hospital.
“We’re getting more in. More severely injured,” said Sue Meech, the Director of Operations.
Since the beginning of the summer, there’s been an influx of turtles being brought into the centre. More than 50 so far. Many run over by cars, their shells broken in several places.
The more badly injured reptiles have to be euthanized, their eggs harvested and placed in an incubator to hatch, a silver lining according to Meech.
“For every turtle brought in, we might be releasing 10 or 20 small turtles in the area.”
The main reason for the influx is attributed to the weather. While many animals take cover turtles head out into the rain.
“Turtles like to come out when they’re laying their eggs so they deliberately go and wait for a nice downfall and then they try and cross the road,” explained Meech.
The number of turtles coming through the door isn’t the only number that’s inflating.
Last year, the shelter took in 3,400 animals and already this year they’ve rescued 3,100. And that in itself is a major concern.
“So our numbers are increasing very quickly every year and it’s pretty overwhelming at times. It’s hard to keep our heads above water.”
All wildlife are helped by volunteers. The organization is a not-for-profit which relies solely on donations from community groups and individuals.
But all of the volunteers come out with a common goal: to help wildlife that can’t help themselves.
“It is rewarding when you are able to save them and rehabilitate them and get to release them,” explained volunteer Darian Fielding.
Motorists are being reminded to keep an eye on the road for turtles crossing, especially during and just after rainfall.