A Haven for Turtles, in a Scarborough Apartment
It’s hard not to be overwhelmed when entering Marc Ouellette’s Scarborough apartment for the first time. In addition to being home to Ouellette and his collection of pets-which includes a cat, a dog, a dozen turtles, a tortoise, a snake, and a handful of lizards-it’s also the nerve centre for Little RES Q, Ouellette’s turtle-rescue organization. The second bedroom is filled with tanks and tubs, each stocked with red-eared sliders, the most common type of turtle sold in pet stores, divided by sex and size. There are roughly 100 rescue turtles in the apartment. “People buy this little toonie-sized turtle at the pet store for $20, and it’s like, ‘OK, I can put that in a little tank,’ but within three years, the females get up to two or three pounds, the boys weigh about a pound” he says. “Then you need a bigger tank and filtration system and that costs so many hundreds of dollarsIt gets too expensive, and then they don’t realize turtles can live up to 50 years.” This makes them a pet turtle of choice, but it has also earned them a place on the World Conservation Union’s list of the world’s 100 most invasive species. “Then, they’ll just muscle out our native turtles like the painted turtleThey turn feral and aggressive very quickly.” “There have been people who want to take a turtle home and say, ‘Well, I’ll put it in a bucket and take care of it later,'” he says. “Well, no. You need to have a set up before you take it in. We don’t want to see that turtle coming back.” Ouellette and his Little RES Q colleagues are trying to make sure that fewer turtles end up homeless by working on outreach and education. “It’s just a matter of education. People need to know what these turtles are like at their adult size. They need to know what a turtle needs and how big they get.”
Sea turtle rescued on Tybee Island
An emaciated loggerhead sea turtle that washed up on the south end of Tybee Island on Thursday is recuperating at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. About 9:15 a.m., three lifeguards swam out to the sandbar with a rescue board and ferried the 50-pound turtle back to shore just as they would an injured swimmer. The lifeguards took the loggerhead by ATV to the Tybee Island Marine Science Center, said Capt. Hunter Robinson of Tybee Ocean Rescue. There staffers kept it quiet and cool until Georgia sea turtle coordinator Mark Dodd could arrive to take the stranded animal to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island. Dodd, a senior biologist with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, said the turtle’s concave bottom shell and atrophied muscles were signs of poor nutrition. Strandings of live sea turtles are relatively rare, Dodd said. Strandings of live and dead sea turtles in Georgia are running at the same pace as last year, with 156 strandings reported as of Monday. One spike of six strandings earlier this summer prompted DNR officials to board shrimp trawlers and examine them for the use of turtle protection devices on nets, Dodd said. At the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, veterinarian Terry Norton found the stranded turtle to be “Pretty debilitated and anemic.” He administered antibiotics and fluids and cleaned off its muddy and barnacle-encrusted shell. The turtle had no obvious injuries but may have a blockage of its gut from shells or other food it had eaten, Norton said. By Thursday afternoon, Norton was cautiously optimistic, noting the teenage turtle – of undetermined sex – was “Fairly strong” and “Bright and alert.” Georgiaseaturtlecenter.org and on its Facebook page, Georgia Sea Turtle Center.
Washington Turtle and Tortoise Rescue
Michael Nichols, an employee of Boundary Bay Brewery for the last three years was honored along with Boundary Bay Brewery at the Whatcom Humane Society Woof and Whiskers Awards held Sunday, May 2nd. The awards were designed to honor the unique individuals who have made outstanding efforts towards the care, safety, and happiness of animals and others in our community. Nichols, who handles Boundary Bay beer sales for Western Washington outside of Whatcom and Skagit counties, was already a volunteer for WHS and NOAH in his spare time. He noticed that animals frequently needed to be transported between shelters and that it often took a full day’s worth of time for shelter employees. He came up with the idea to use the Boundary Bay Brewery delivery vans to transport animals for these organizations since the vans were going that way anyway. Nichols pitched the idea to the Owner, General Manager and Operations Manager of Boundary Bay Brewery and had answers prepared for questions he imagined they might ask. “I thought they would worry about the impact on my work, and want to know about gas costs and liability, and all the stuff one might expect from a business” says Nichols. “They didn’t ask any questions or express any concern about how it might have a negative impact on my work. They all three just said ‘Yes, do it, help the animals.'”. All in all, Nichols estimates that he’s transported around 55 animals including cats, dogs, rabbits and turtles. Boundary Bay Brewery and Michael Nichols are happy to help these animals and shelters in need. There are many, many ways you can contribute toocontact any of the above shelters for more info.
powered by Zaphne