“It’s a special month for turtles,” organizer of the festival Kelly Wallace says.

The second annual Bancroft Turtle Festival kicks off on May 11th at 10 AM. There will be presentations throughout the day and Wallace says all will include live turtles or other animals.

One highlight of the day will be at 11:15 AM when Jess’ Animal Adventures takes the stage with her snakes, lizards and other animals. She will be talking about reptiles in the wild and teach people about the ones are okay to have as pets.

There will also be a presentation from Turtle Guardians starting at 10 AM and one from the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre at 12:45 PM. A bake sale will be going on throughout the day with the funds raised going to support Turtle Guardians.

“We’re asking people to drop off supply donations for the trauma centre,” Wallace says. You can find a full list of what is needed on the Think Turtle Conservation Initiative’s Facebook page.

Wallace says it’s important for her to educate the public on turtles because their population is rapidly declining. 930 turtles were admitted to the trauma centre in 2018 alone. She says that some turtles can take 17 to 20 years to reach sexual maturely and reproduce. “The way the population is declining they just can’t sustain losses,” she says.

The 2nd annual Bancroft Turtle Festival runs from 10 AM until 3 PM at the Bancroft Fish & Game Club on Saturday, May 11th.

Written by: Mathew Reisler