Laula the turtle gets returned to Poole Creek

Endangered snapping turtle back home after stint in Peterborough trauma hospital

Laula the turtle recently returned home to Poole Creek, the final chapter of a two-month rehabilitation for the endangered snapping turtle.

“It is extremely satisfying to see an animal return to the wild,” said Kerry Reimer, a Stittsville resident and volunteer with the Rideau Valley Wildlife Sanctuary.

“I picked her up from the box and put her on the edge of the creek. She dove right in. I had the neighbourhood kids with me and we watched her under the water and then she dove down.”

Laula was brought to the sanctuary  in June after being hit by a car in Stittsville. She suffered injuries to her head and was sent to the Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre in Peterborough for specialized care.

The facility treats hundreds of endangered turtles each year. Seven of Ontario’s eight turtle species are endangered, mostly due to loss of habitat and getting hit by cars.

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources rules require that turtles be returned to nature within one kilometre of where they were originally found.  Laula was released into Poole Creek, near Reimer’s house in Fairwinds.

Laula is just one of many animals Reimer has helped since she started volunteering with the sanctuary two years ago.

“I feed baby orphaned animals. I’ve worked with squirrels, flying squirrels, mink, racoons, skunks, rabbits, groundhogs, a porcupine and turtles. This year there were baby foxes. They are all cute but my favourite is skunks,” she said.

The Rideau Valley Wildlife Sanctuary has admitted about 60 turtles per year over the past two years, including snapping turtles, painted turtles and blanding’s turtles.

If you find a turtle or wild mammal in distress, you should safely contain it and put it in a quiet, warm dark place. Visit www.rideauwildlife.org for information or call 613-258-9480. Some orphaned mammals can be reunited with their mothers under the right circumstances. For birds, call the Wild Bird Care Centre at 613-828-2849.

(Photos courtesy of Kerry Reimer)

Laula the turtle gets returned to Poole Creek

Laula the turtle gets returned to Poole Creek


Have you seen any snapping turtles or other interesting wildlife in Stittsville? Tell us about it in the comments below or send an email to feedback@stittsvillecentral.ca


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4 thoughts on “Endangered snapping turtle back home after stint in Peterborough trauma hospital”

  1. So let me tell you the story of this turtle. I found it on Maple Grove after it was apparently hit by a vehicle. I didn’t really know it was a snapper, but after is hissed at me, I figured it out. I had nothing in my car to pick it up with, well nothing but a small snow shovel, so it would have to do. I put the turtle into the trunk the trunk of my car and head home. Once there I tell Ayah that I need to find a place to take the turtle. I locate the Rideau Valley Sanctuary and got directions, not an easy find on the internet, and it’s not close by. I get the boys to come with me and they convince me to open the ski hole on the back seats to the turtle can have light and air. My youngest son, sitting in the car seat beside the opening, kept checking on the turtle. Drive was going great, 10mins to destination, turtle decides it’s time to get out of the trunk. Scared the wits out of us all. Snappers have the longest necks, and boy did it want to visit Ramsey. I frantically pulled over, got Ramsey out of the back before anything could happen. Ramsey sat up front on his brothers lap (we were on the country back roads), turtle took up position in the vacated, but warm, seat car seat for the duration. Sanctuary staff removed the turtle and gave the boys a full tour. Very happy to see our efforts to help this turtle were rewarded with it being successfully reintegrated. Thanks for sharing.

  2. My husband and I were arriving home last Wednesday and there was a snapping turtle crawling up our laneway!! As we approached with our car, it started crawling towards my neighbors driveway. We live right at the corner of Abbott and Westridge where all the trails and forests are. The turtle went underneath my neighbors car, right behind the front wheel and wouldn’t move. We didn’t want to leave it there for fear it would get run over, so my husband got a large broom and pushed it out from underneath the car. We then walked it across the street with the broom guiding it until it was safely back into the forest/swamp area!

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