A western painted turtle is spotted nesting at Buttertubs Marsh, Nanaimo. (Warren Cronan photo)

Vernon turtle survives ‘cowardly attack’

Wildlife expert says painted turtle is lucky to be alive and will be transported to a sanctuary

A painted turtle left severely injured by a pair of youths in Vernon will soon be on its way to a Salt Spring Island wildlife sanctuary.

A post on the Wise Wildlife Control Services page said a family found the turtle in poor condition on the west end of Lakeshore Road and brought it to the Coldstream-based wildlife group Tuesday, May 19.

Pete Wise of Wise Wildlife Control Services said the turtles injuries were the result of a “cowardly attack.”

“The people who dropped it off said there were a couple of kids smashing down on the turtle with sticks or rocks, and they totally smashed the front legs of the turtle, plus it had one broken rear leg,” Wise said of the incident that was reported to the RAPP line.

Without its front legs, a painted turtle has little hope of surviving in its natural aquatic habitat, Wise said.

“If it doesn’t have any front feet it can’t swim. So if even if they threw it back in the water then what would happen is it would drown.”

On Thursday, May 21, Wise said the turtle won’t ever return to the wild, but the fact it survived this long is good news.

“The turtle is alive and the veterinarians are working very diligently,” Wise said.

A conservancy on Salt Spring Island has said it’s willing to take the turtle in for rehabilitation, and Wise is currently working out the logistics of transporting the turtle to the island.

“I’ve used them once before when I had a species of turtle that’s not found here anymore,” he said. “They took that turtle off my hands and we were able to get it down to the island and it went well.”

Painted turtles are listed as a protective species in B.C., like most other turtle and reptile species that are native to the area.

All illegal wildlife activity can be reported to the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277.

READ MORE: Kelowna first responders rescue baby ducks from storm drain

READ MORE: Injured pelican found near death in Okanagan released after lengthy rehab


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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