The Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre wants you to be on the lookout for turtles that may have come out of hibernation early.
Turtle Programs Manager Donnell Gasbarrini says the reptiles should still be hibernating underneath ice, but could start coming out early because of the recent mild weather. Gasbarinni says these turtles may not be able to find their way back to their hibernation spots, which can be dangerous for them.
If the temperature drops, these turtles could be at risk of dying.
Although there have been no reports of turtles on or near roads, Gasbarinni says drivers should also be watching out for them.
Gasbarrini says it’s important to help protect the local turtle population, as seven of eight species in Ontario are at risk.
If you come across a turtle that’s gotten out of hibernation early, you are being encouraged to call the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre at (705) 741-5000. The centre will work to figure out the best course of action, and does have room to house turtles until they can be reintroduced into the local ecosystem when it gets warmer.