Okanagan turtle injured by sticks and stones has a fighting chance - InfoNews

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Okanagan turtle injured by sticks and stones has a fighting chance

A painted turtle is seen in this undated handout photo.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Nature Conservancy of Canada
May 20, 2020 - 11:43 AM

Badly injured from the rocks and sticks that were hurled at it, the turtle Peter Wise took yesterday to a Vernon veterinarian for emergency care didn’t seem to have a chance.

“I just got off the phone with the vet and, I didn’t think he would make it, but the vet has him going again,” Wise, of Wise Wildlife Control Services, said today, May 20.

“This turtle has no front feet, some of the tissue is damaged to the point it may rot right off and it’s going to take specialized care for the rest of his life.”

READ MORE: West Kelowna development threatens painted turtle habitat

That said, the turtle that fell prey to what Wise called a "cowardly attack" has a chance and he is going to suss out somewhere that does have the services needed to give the creature a fighting chance. The western painted turtle is native to the Okanagan and is listed as ‘at-risk.’

“There’s a turtle rescue on Saltspring Island that I’m trying to get ahold of — if I do it will need transport.”

The turtle came into Wise’s care after a woman called around, desperately seeking some to care for the creature she rescued.

“It was found on by Lakeshore Road in Vernon, where there were some kids that were observed throwing rocks and sticks at the turtle,” Wise said. “A mother and two sons went over and got the turtle from these guys and brought it to me.”

It was an act of cruelty that Wise said he doesn’t see often and, while he doesn’t often work with turtles in his wildlife control business it’s not totally unheard of, so he’s familiar with their habitat and their needs.

“There are tons of turtles in the Okanagan valley,” he said. “They’re primarily the painted turtle but we also have an alien species, the red-eared slider.”

That turtle, he said, was brought in as part of the pet trade and can be found up and down the valley. They are considered a threat to the habitat of the painted turtle.

Wise said he will have an update on the turtle in the days ahead, and had no other information on the people who damaged it.

It is against the law to harm any wildlife. The incident has been reported to the RAPP (B.C. Conservation Officer Service reporting) line. 

Please do your part and be diligent to report any illegal activity to the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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