Wild Animals Belong in the Wild

Illegal collecting of Ontario’s native turtles, including Wood and Spotted Turtles, has decimated these populations in the wild. Never take a wild turtle home as a pet. Take a photo instead, and be sure to report your observation to a monitoring program such as the Ontario Turtle Tally or the “Herps of Ontario” project on iNaturalist.

If you witness the illegal capture or sale of a species at risk please report the violation to the MNRF tip line: Call 1-877-847-7667 to report any illegal activity against Ontario’s natural resources.

Found a Hurt Turtle?

If you find an injured turtle that needs veterinary care record the exact location it was found and call us immediately: 705-741-5000. Do not attempt to care for wild animals yourself. For more information on what to do in this situation, read our Helping an Injured Turtle page.

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A Red-Eared Slider found in nesting in the wild in Ontario. Photo by Mike Taggart

Don’t Release Exotic Pets

The release of pet red-eared slider turtles into Ontario waters has introduced this species into Ontario wetlands. These pets-gone-wild are displacing already stressed populations of Ontario turtles. If you can no longer care for your pet turtle don’t release it into the wild. If you cannot find someone else to adopt it, contact your local Humane Society or a group such as Little RESQ to help you find a new home for your pet.

The OTCC cannot take in unwanted pets, we are only licensed to care for native Ontario species.

Don’t Shop… Adopt!

Turtles are long lived and hard to care for properly in captivity. Most people don’t realize that pet turtles can live for 40 to 60 years! However, if you’re ready for a life-long commitment and are considering a pet turtle, please look into adopting animals from others no longer able to care for them. Contact a re-homing organization such as Little RESQ.