Located in Kitchener, TurtleHaven has been helping turtles for the past 15 years. We started out modestly enough by taking in the red-ear slider a.k.a the pet store turtle so people would not release them into our wetlands. Over that time frame we have literally kept hundreds of them out of our wetlands.
We have been lucky in finding property owners who built man-made ponds for the sliders and to no one's surprise ...they survived our winters. They have adapted well to our environment.
The next stage of TurtleHaven's goal was to become an authorized wildlife custrodian with the Ministry Of Natural Resources which happened about six years ago. We lobbied the Region of Waterloo to install turtle-crossing signs in the area.
The turtle-crossing signs were installed in the Waterloo Region which included Paris and Cambridge. But sadly after the first season most the 15 signs were stolen.
The following year TurtleHaven bought more signs and donated them to the Region to have them reinstalled but for the second year in a row these signs were also stolen. At this point TurtleHaven decided it was far better to eduction people about turtles on the move in the spring looking for nesting spots and how they could help the turtles.
TurtleHaven would like to find a bigger space so that we may offer classes and rehab for all wildlife. If you know of a such place .... please let us know.
TurtleHaven would also like to thank our many supporters for their generosity in helping make TurtleHaven a safe haven for the turtles.
With heart felt thanks.
But as with any good intentions ... turtles are going to become road fatalities. TurtleHaven has been fortunate to have found three local veterinarian clinics that stepped up to plate to offer medical treatment for our injured native turtles.
A big thank-you goes out to Dr. Chris Murfin from the Kingsdale Animal Hospital in Kitchener who six years ago was the first person to help TurtleHaven with treatment for injured snappers and painteds. That first year was certainly a learning curve for all of us and many of those turtles survived because of his dedication.
Preston Animal Hospital in Cambridge (P) has also been in the forground with medical treatment and has always been available to see new patients. Their largest patient was a 42 lb. snapper with shell laceration. After a round of antibiotics and rehab at TurtleHaven, Columbia was returned home to Columbia Lake in Waterloo.
Another great addition to helping with injured turtles has been the Campus Estate Animal Hospital in Guelph and with Dr. Nickey Brown's love for turtles she has taken on some very challenging injuries.
She successfully wired a broken jaw along with Dr. Marco Mazzocco on a very large snapping turtle that was injured outside of Grand Bend. "Jaws" is recovering nicely and is being tube feed.
The jaw will take a long time to mend. We are looking at least 6 months to a year.
TurtleHaven is fortunate and grateful to the above clinics for their dedciation and hard work that they provide to us. We are making a difference to our native turtles and there- in lies the passion.
TurtleHaven's future goal is to establish a Wildlife Nature Centre in the Waterloo Region.
Many of our local wildlife suffer from road fatalities or animal attacks. This area is long overdue for a WildLife Centre that would help all injured wildlife, so they may be rehabbed back to health for release.