high park turtles

Tons of turtle hatchlings released at Toronto pond after rescue from busy street

There are about 48 new baby turtles calling a huge Toronto park home after they were rescued from a very busy street.

The snapping turtle hatchlings were released in High Park after they were born next to a very busy and dangerous street earlier this summer.

According to Turtle Protectors High Park, 50 baby turtles were laid on June 7, in a specialty nest protector.

Last week, the babies were transported across the street and released into the park, in aims of saving them from crossing the busy street.

The co-found of TPHP, Carolynne Crawley, was instrumental in this initiative and ensuring the safety of the turtles. 

"When we could not find a permit holder that could remove the eggs, Carolynne informed The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) that she blocked the exist [of the nests] due to high risk of mortality due to the busy road and MNR was supportive with that decision." 

Since the holes were blocked, volunteers with TPHP were constantly checking the nest to make sure the babies weren't trapped.

Unfortunately one hatchling somehow found a way out of the nest and was very sadly killed on the road.

Once the babies were spotted trying to get out of the nest, TPHP staff quickly came to their rescue and released them at Grenadier Pond.

"It was incredible to watch 50 hatchlings emerge. We literally got to see them crawl out of the ground-one after the other - it was such a gift," said TPHP.

Turtle Protectors High Park is an Indigenous led stewardship program that is supported by Msit No’kmaq, the Indigenous Land Stewardship Circle, Taiaiako'n Historic Preservation Society, Indigenous elders and community members.

There are three kinds of turtle species that call High Park home; the snapping turtle, red-eared slider and midland painted turtle. Snapping turtles are the largest freshwater turtle in Canada.

They are also supported by the Toronto Animal Services, Parks, Forestry and Recreation and the Indigenous Affairs Office within the city.

Language keeper and elder Henry Pitawanakwat has given the TPHP a name in Anishinaabemowin, “Mishiikenh Gizhaasowin.”

Lead photo by

Turtle Protectors High Park

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