What to do if you find a turtle hatchling while out walking?


A friend of mine found a Painted Turtle hatchling at the side of the road in Tiny township.  She called The Wye Marsh to find out what she should best do with it. The simple answer, is leave it there.  Every turtle in Ontario (even Snapping Turtles) are now on the Species At Risk list and our best chance to protect them is to leave them in their environment and hope they make their way to water.  The only time you should interfere with their travels is if you happen to see them crossing the road, which probably wouldn't happen with a hatchling unless you are driving VERY slowly. In this case we beg you to pull over and let the cars behind you get by.  If you are able to spot a turtle crossing the road you can help them cross but make sure you do it in the direction they're travelling, otherwise they will just turn around and try again when you drive away.

This is a Painted Turtle which, at this size, is hard to tell apart from a Snapping Turtle.  The biggest differences are a Snapping Turtle's back will have more ridges and it will be 'larger' than a Painted Turtle.  A Painted Turtle hatchling will be roughly the size of a quarter, while a Snapping Turtle hatchling is rougly the size of a Toonie.  Not a ton of difference;)

Happy Turtle Saving!

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