Turtle S.O.S.: Save Our Shells!

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Trouble in paradise.

It's June and that means those crazy turtles are once again roaming dirt side roads and busy highways alike; intent on finding mates, water and good nesting places as they have always done, paying no mind to the deadly wheels zooming past. I stop for a lot of turtles at this time of the year and so far we have all lived to fight another day. However I have never seen a turtle stuck in the bone-dry and baking-hot rink at the Luskville Community Centre before. Bad turtle terrain for sure.

Luckily this sprightly individual was moving steadily and seemed deeply irritated to be interrupted, so I can only assume he/she had not been in there for very long.

Seems like a good time to talk about how to tackle these little monsters. My attempts to "help" turtles advancing across the 148 by applying the toe of my boot to the back of their shell generally results in both of us doing tight circles, risking everyone's lives. One turtle lunged at me so violently it actually flipped onto its back, which was counterproductive to say the least.

The best and fastest way is to get in there and simply lift them up. A few things to note:

1. They hate this.

2. They are very strong and surprisingly heavy.

3. They will try and scratch your hands away with their mighty back legs while also trying to bite you in half, so they are hard to keep hold of. 

4. They can also urinate copiously.

My personal advice is to always travel with gloves, although I have picked up a turtle with two cloth shopping bags. Get in right at the back and jam your fingers into his "back pockets" [as I think of them] so you have a good grip. Tilt the turtle forwards so any urine pours away from you and don't waste time. Get him/her across the road and into the long wet grass on the other side without delay. Don't take a turtle back the way it came or it will have to start all over again. They know where they are going, so it's pointless arguing.

That's better. It takes ages for turtles to mature and reproduce so every one of them counts, as you can imagine. If you do see one on the side of the road, please please please stop and help, if at all possible.

The Carapace Project, part of Nature Conservancy Canada, was created to record turtle sightings, even those of dead ones, across the province. You may have seen the yellow stickers on the backs of cars in the area. The sighting form is easy to fill in; however they do insist that you add at least one picture which helps them identifiy the actual breed of the turtle, as well as its size and condition. Also note the approximate area of the place you saw it, using the civic numbers or the nearest crossroads.

Go to www.carapace.ca for more information, as well as a photo gallery for identification and a lengthy FAQ section with more turtle-helping advice.

Thank you for your help.

 

Nos autres nouvelles / Our other News

Pontiac Community Players put on fundraising play

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Kate Aley

A hilarious one-hour play called Maid to Order was presented in Shawville April 13 and 14 by local theatre troupe, the Pontiac Community Players (PCP). Sold-out on both evenings, the profits will go towards the Pontiac High School restoration project to update lighting, sound and add a 20-foot electronic screen to be used for both school and community movie screenings. Further improvements to seating and ventilation are planned.

Above, hapless police officers Craig Young (left) and Neil MacIntosh (right) ask the slightly-shady Charles Cambin (Richard Armitage) to explain himself.

Another community hub lost: Depanneur Poirier closes down

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by: 

Kate Aley

Depanneur Poirier, at the intersection of the highway and Ch. des Pères-Dominicains, has closed. The last day of business was Thursday 22 but the owners, Janet and Jack Deschenes have been emptying shelves for weeks.

Bunny fun: Luskville playgroup celebrates Easter

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by: 

Kate Aley

Spring is here we're told, but it's still so gray and cold outside. Where can you take your under 5's when you have exhausted all the DVD options? To the free playgroup in Luskville, of course.

Above from left, Comité 0-5 animator Lisa Corrigan with personal friend Helga the rabbit and an ardent admirer at the Luskville playgroup's Easter event.

Walk right in: renovations to Family Centre ensure better, safer service

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by: 

Kate Aley

Better than a new welcome mat, a shining floor now greets visitors to the Maison de la Famille in Quyon, thanks to funding from the Ministère de la Famille. A new epoxy surface was poured last week, creating a seamless floor running though out the reception area, the Clothing Counter, kitchen and laundry.

André Fortin nominated as Liberal candidate for Pontiac

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by: 

Kate Aley

The auditorium of Onslow Elementary School was filled with supporters of MNA for Pontiac André​ Fortin on Saturday March 10. The gathering marked the re-nomination of Fortin to represent the Liberal party in the upcoming provincial elections. Community members, councilors for the Municipality of Pontiac and MRC Pontiac mayors and wardens, both past and present, were in attendance.

Community coffee: church offers warm drinks and warm reception

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by: 

Kate Aley

It is indisputably still cold outside, baby.  Éric Hébert-Daly, the new student minister at Quyon United Church, has a new idea to warm all of us up. 

On Monday 12, and on every Monday from now, Hébert-Daly will be opening the doors of the church at 1088 Clarendon Street in Quyon (next to the Post Office) between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. to offer warm drinks at no charge.

Riding in style: massive upgrade to Pontiac bus route

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by: 

Kate Aley

It's smooth and it's quiet with internet access, a 36" flat screen TV and reclining seats and it leaves Allumette Island at 10 minutes to 5 am every day. This is the new coach that runs Route 148 and you can be on it. This week, riders taking the Campeau Bus Line to the city were treated to a brand-new luxury coach, a demonstration vehicle in service before the permanent vehicle becomes available in about a weeks time.

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