turtles

Turtle Rescue

On our last camping trip in Algonquin Park we rescued a turtle. The turtle was found while Dad, Uncle Dave, and I were canoeing close to shore filming Josh soloing his canoe. Josh spotted the turtle and noticed that there was something stuck on the turtle’s right forefoot. It was a clam!

"Zoom" the turtle trying to swim with a clam stuck to his right forefoot..

"Zoom" the turtle trying to swim with a clam stuck to his right forefoot..

Luckily Josh had his fishing net with him, so we scooped the turtle up and I grabbed it out of the net. The turtle wasn’t too happy to be picked up and held in the air, but Dad quickly pried the clam open with his Griptilian knife. Once the clam was off, the turtle (who we named Zoom) calmed down and we were able to take some pictures of him (we could tell he was a male by his long front claws).  

We also removed a couple of leeches that were attached to his shell.  Zoom was then released and swam off to hunt and be a happy turtle. 

In hindsight we think that Zoom had actually asked for help.  Normally turtles swim away from people, but Zoom actually swam towards Josh's canoe and circled around the canoe until we scooped him up in the net. Also, after the clam was pried off he didn’t freak out and struggle to be put down. Instead he was calm and allowed us to take pictures of him. Afterwards, he didn’t swim frantically away like a frightened turtle would, but stayed around the canoes for a little while before swimming off. Overall this was a very exciting adventure!

Zoom waves goodbye as he is released back into the water.

Zoom waves goodbye as he is released back into the water.

The Painted Turtle (by Cousin Eva: Age 7)

Caleb and I caught a turtle when we were guarding the fish that Uncle Dave caught.  It was a North American Painted Turtle.

Anna holding the painted turtle.

The turtle had a smooth oval shaped shell that was a dark greenish brown colour with little orange spots on the edge. 

The top of the painted turtle.

Underneath it had orange marks on it.  The bottom shell was light yellow with a grey splotch in the middle.  Its head was dark green with yellow and orange stripes.  Painted turtles have webbed feet with little claws.  Their tails are short and pointy.  A turtle will tuck its feet and head into its shell when it’s scared.  Then it looks like a rock.

The bottom of the painted turtle.

Painted turtles like to eat algae, bugs and fish.  That’s probably why we found it checking out uncle Dave’s fish.  You can usually find painted turtles sunning themselves on rocks or logs on sunny days.  They do this to warm themselves up because they are cold blooded.  So the next time you’re canoeing on a sunny day remember to keep an eye out for turtles.