Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Turtle Encounter

Eastern Painted Turtle (Chrymemus picta picta)

I am working outdoors this summer doing much the same work I have been doing for the past ten years at volunteer outings. This time I am getting paid for it. It's hard, physical work but I enjoy it because it is satisfying work. This week I was working in Taylor Creek Park finishing off a volunteer planting that was poorly attended due to a heavy rainstorm. The location is a popular place for dog walkers and cyclists so we had lots of company while we worked. One of the passersby surprised us because she was carrying a turtle. It was an Eastern Painted Turtle which she had affectionately named Franklin.

Her story was that she had owned it for about a month and had been in someone else's possession for about a year. It had been picked up from a road location unknown but presumably in the local region. She had decided that it was time to release it back into the wild and had come down to the park to find a place for it. She had tried to place it in the creek but she said that it didn't seem to like it much. It's good that she decided against leaving the turtle in the creek since it is such a polluted mess.

I advised her that the best place to let it go was one of the ponds on the Goulding Estate. There is now considerable habitat for creatures such as turtles. The new ponds may eventually become a place to dump Red-eared Sliders so the addition of a native breed can only be a good thing. The woman walked off with the turtle so I have no way of knowing whether she released it since she seemed quite attached to it. I will certainly keep an eye out for it since I am leading a Community Stewardship team at the Goulding ponds this summer.

1 comment:

Boris Terzic said...

I don't think the Taylor Creek is as polluted as people think. When I was younger, 14-15-16 about 9-10 years ago a friend of mine and me went fishing down near the O'Connor bridge and caught a couple of turtles on several occasions. There seemed to been a small population there.