Central Okanagan regional district highlighting local critters with live videos - InfoNews

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Central Okanagan regional district highlighting local critters with live videos

Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Regional District of Central Okanagan
April 25, 2020 - 10:00 AM

The Regional District of the Central Okanagan is offering live information tours to shine a spotlight on a variety of Okanagan critters.

The first edition, which dropped yesterday, April 23, featured the popular and vulnerable Western painted turtles. Live Instagram sessions are available from Tuesdays to Fridays at 10:30 a.m. and on Saturdays at 1 p.m.

Nicole Kittmer, park interpreter for the regional district, said with the public program closures, the interpreter team needed to “reinvent how we do things.”

The videos are also posted on the district’s YouTube channel afterwards.

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“It’s spring so the turtles are starting to emerge from their hibernation… and the biggest draw for many is going to see the turtles. Everyone wants to know where are the turtles?”

Western painted turtle colonies have slightly different DNA depending on where they live, she said. The Okanagan’s variety is considered vulnerable, but in other parts of the country painted turtles are thriving.

The turtle demonstration involved lots of turtle props as none were above water Thursday morning, she said. Baby turtles, about the size of a loonie, can be seen in ponds in late April and May.

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“I call them the perfect little Canadians. They’re the only pond turtle that can survive the cold we have under half a metre of ice,” she said. “They’re quite a Kelowna crowd. They can handle winter, it’s fine, but come summer you find (them) on the beach in the sun.”

“We’re used to having the public in front of us and we’re used to talking, but it’s very different in front of a camera,” she laughed. “It’s been fun though.”

April and May are one of the busiest times of the year for their events, as teachers wrap up the school year with field trips, she said.

Different topics are broadcast five days a week. Next Thursday, April 30, Kittmer will be live-streaming a learn-to-fish program.

Next month, they’re trying Zoom meetings for groups who would like to experience a live field trip, she said.

Saturday’s live stream will feature a porcupine information session.

 


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