When is a turtle deemed non-releasable and what does this mean?

There are three basic reasons why a wild turtle could not be released.

  1. The injuries that they sustained will prevent them from surviving in the wild
  2. We do not know their where they came from (point of origin)
  3. They were housed with pet turtles

Like all wild animals, turtles carry bacteria, parasites, diseases that are naturally occurring in their home body of water. While this does not cause harm to the turtle, it could lead to problems should that turtle be released into a different ecosystem. This type of relocation may result in the introduction something that the new ecosystem that it, and its inhabitants, may not be able to tolerate.

In an effort to prevent the spread of diseases, parasites, and/or bacteria, strict regulations set out by the Ministry of Natural Resources when it comes to the release of wild animals. Over the years, we have acquired a few of these unfortunate cases; many of them being painted turtles. Since spring 2011, we have been operating at full capacity and space at KTTC is at a premium! The decision was made to house all of the non-releasable painted turtles together (all females). To our excitement and great relief, all of the turtles seem to be getting along well and are happy to be out basking together and sharing the large tank. These turtles will eventually be placed at wildlife centers as education animals and some will be relocated to our Education Centre located at the four corners of Keene. Remember that Ontario turtles are illegal to keep as pets! Their populations are in a steady decline, and so each one plays a critical role in expanding the population and keeping it healthy!