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Peak time for northern Ont. wildlife centre that rehabilitates, releases wildlife

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The Turtle Pond Wildlife Centre located in the Greater Sudbury community of Val Caron is at its peak time right now caring for orphaned, ill and injured mammals, reptiles and birds.

Gloria Morissette, the founder of Turtle Pond Wildlife Centre said caring for baby song birds is costly. with the centre going through between $400-$500 a week just for insects. (Alana Everson/CTV News Northern Ontario)

Officials with the centre told CTV News that it offers specialized care like having formula on hand for each different species and medications to heal wounds and broken turtle shells.

Caregivers at Turtle Pond said they are helping a grandfather Blanding’s turtle heal from a broken leg after being hit by a car while other turtles are being treated for broken shells.

Turtle Pond Wildlife Centre is currently caring for grandfather Blanding’s turtle with a broken leg from being hit by a car along with other turtles that have broken shells. June 5, 2024. (Alana Everson/CTV News Northern Ontario)

“When they come in their shells are usually fractured which is a bone fracture so it’s very painful,” said Gloria Morissette, the centre’s founder.

“We have two to three different types of medication that we use for them to control pain as well as antibiotics so those medications are really expensive as well.”

In the centre’s songbird nursery several baby birds need feeding and on the menu is a high-protein supplement and insects for a young robin.

Staff at Turtle Pond Wildlife Centre feeding a small robin a high-protein supplement and insects on June 5, 2024. (Alana Everson/CTV News Northern Ontario)

“It’s costly,” said Morissette.

“For example just for the baby birds we go through between $400-$500 a week just for insects and that is just for our songbirds.”

This is a very busy time at the centre with over 300 visitors that belong in the wild but need some help right now.

The Turtle Pond Wildlife Centre located in the Greater Sudbury community of Val Caron is at is very busy taking care of more than 300 orphaned, ill and injured mammals, reptiles and birds. June 5, 2024. (Alana Everson/CTV News Northern Ontario)

“A lot of the animals that we get either whether they are babies and they need specialized formula and specialized nutrition or if they are adults and they have injuries they need specialized care specialized medications,” said Celina Hockley, a registered vet technician at the centre.

“Some medications work for some species others not so much so you really need to have a broad variety of knowledge on different species.”

The Turtle Pond Wildlife Centre located in the Greater Sudbury community of Val Caron is at is very busy taking care of more than 300 orphaned, ill and injured mammals, reptiles and birds. June 5, 2024. (Alana Everson/CTV News Northern Ontario)

As a registered charity the Turtle Pond Wildlife Centre relies on donations and fundraising efforts.

“June and July are the busiest months of the year,” said Morissette.

“We get in trauma cases as well as a lot of orphans. The goal is to get as many of these wild animals that need care back out where they belong.”

The Turtle Pond Wildlife Centre located in the Greater Sudbury community of Val Caron is at is very busy taking care of more than 300 orphaned, ill and injured mammals, reptiles and birds. June 5, 2024. (Alana Everson/CTV News Northern Ontario)

Turtle Pond said the cost to feed wildlife each year at the centre is $80,000 with medications costing more than $10,000 annually.

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