In July 2012, The Villager brought readers the story of the Ontario Place turtles.
Ten female red ear sliders, affectionately called “The Gurdles”, were abandoned by their owners and given a new home at the Ontario Place Eco-Learning Centre.
The turtles were brought to the Eco-Learning Centre by its manager, Jaime Carnevale, as a teaching tool for children to learn about the humane society and the pets they have available as well as the commitment that comes with owning a pet. But when the provincial government announced the closure of the waterfront amusement park in February, the 10 turtles were again left without a home.
‘Sort of irony’
“That’s the sort of irony of this situation,” said Carnevale, who was left without a job when Ontario Place closed. “The entire point of the exhibit was how once they (the turtles) reach a certain size, people abandon them and they live for 45 years.”
Without any other option, Carnevale moved the turtles into a large tank on the back deck of her home.
Carnevale said The Villager story generated a lot of response. She got calls from other media, some people wishing her well and commending her for helping the turtles, but no one could take them.
As the weather got colder, Carnevale moved the turtles inside her home. The large tub was set up in the basement where they are living today, with the exception of the eldest of the turtles that died of natural causes.
Not all hope is gone, Carnevale said. The experience has inspired Carnevale and her husband, and the couple is looking at renting a property outside of the city and starting an animal sanctuary that would also create compost from animal waste.
Read the original story at www.insidetoronto.com/news-story/78830-ontario-place-turtles-looking-for-new-home/