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Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre

Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre

Who? The Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre (KTTC) is made up of people who all have one goal in mind – helping turtles! Turtles are in big trouble. Seven of the eight turtle species found in Ontario are considered “at risk” – meaning they’re at risk of becoming extinct.
KTTC is a registered Canadian charity with a licensed veterinarian and many volunteers dedicated to helping turtles survive.

What? KTTC takes care of sick and injured turtles and they work with the community to help protect turtles from harm.

If your pet is sick or injured, you take it to see a veterinarian. But what do you do if you find a sick or injured wild animal?

Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre is there to help wild turtles. Many turtles are brought into KTTC after being hit by a car. Often turtles have terrible shell wounds. Some have broken jaws.

After a major operation, a turtle needs a long period recovery. Often turtles will spend the entire winter in KTTC’s care before being returned to the wild in the spring. Turtles are always released in the area where they were found.

When? KTTC has been helping turtles since 2002.

Where? KTTC is located in Peterborough, Ontario. You can find turtle drop off locations In Peterborough and in other parts of Ontario (along with information about other centers dedicated to helping turtles) by clicking here: Drop Off

Wow! Would you believe that kids were the inspiration for the Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre? That’s right. Kids 4 Turtles inspired adults to start the Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre. What is Kids 4 turtles and how did it get its start?

Students of Rollin’ Acres independent school near Peterborough, Ontario were between the ages of 4 and 10 when they decided to lend a helping hand to turtles. The students were upset when they realized that many turtles heading to and from a nearby wetland were being hit by cars. They formed Kids 4 Turtles and started raising money for turtle crossing signs, the children held all kinds of fundraising events – from a bake sale, to a hike-a-thon. The signs let drivers know to slow down on roads were turtles are likely to be crossing. Kids 4 Turtles raised over $4,000 – enough to put up 42 turtle crossing signs around the county!

Turtle Facts:

  • turtles are ancient. They’re one of the oldest reptile groups. They roamed the earth with dinosaurs and survived the ice age.
  • the top of a turtle’s shell is called the carapace and the bottom of the shell (underneath the turtle) is called the plastron.
  • the top layer of a turtle’s shell is made up of scutes. Scutes are kind of like floor tiles, or puzzle pieces put together to form a shell. Scutes are made of keratin. Human hair and nails are also made of keratin!
  • snapping turtles are the largest freshwater turtle in Ontario – weighing up to 16 kilograms (35 pounds).
  • wood turtles stomp their feet on the ground to mimic the sound of rain falling on the ground. Why do they do this? Earthworms come out of the ground when it rains – and the wood turtle wants to eat earthworms!
  • the common musk turtle is also known as the stinkpot turtle. Why? It releases a strong musky odor when it feels threatened.
  • blanding’s turtles can live up to 75 years
  • the leatherback sea turtle is the largest sea turtle alive today
  • the leatherback has been known to reach a length of 2.5 meters (8 feet) and a weight of 907 kilograms (2000 pounds). In Canada, there are leatherbacks off the coasts of the Maritime Provinces as well as off the coasts of Newfoundland and British Columbia.

Video Credits:

  • Writer: Susan Terrill
  • Camera: Douglas von Rosen
  • Editor: Rob Thompson
  • Narrator: Susan Sentesy
  • Music: Peter Kiesewalter