We are so grateful to our amazingly talented staff, Stacey Kinder, for her time in creating a masterpiece of a mural to promote turtle conservation. The mural is on the side of the Baked and Battered cafe and eatery in Haliburton Village. The mural is of Jeremiah, our female +70 year old skateboarding turtle who was brought to us by the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre (home of the Trauma Centre) after she healed from her injuries: Jeremiah was "straddled" by a car - the vehicle driver thought she would be okay if they passed over her with their wheels on either side). But this wasn't the case. First of all, she was too tall and/or the car carriage was too log and Jeremiah's carapace (top-shell) was crushed, leaving her somewhat crippled from the damage and unable to use her back legs. And then she must have been so scared that she tried to snap- and so Jeremiah lost a chunk of her beak so that she would not be able to find food or defend herself in the wild. Every second day we put Jeremiah on her skateboard to give her practice using her legs and to promote muscle-memory- because after four years in physiotherapy she has begun moving those back legs again! Turtles are amazing because they can regrow nerve tissue. It may take many years still before she could possibly walk again. Now Jeremiah is commemorated through Stacey's amazing artwork.
Stacey Kinder is an artist and an ecologist! She has captured the image of Jeremiah in her mural- but the mural is more than simply the image of "Jer": inspired perhaps by the Aanishinabeg Creation story where North America is on a turtle's back, or perhaps too by the fact that turtles help clean water and also spread aquatic seeds so that wetlands and fish nurseries that support so much wildlife will thrive, Jeremiah has an ecosystem of native plants growing on her back.
Stacey spent the summer with us running the roads in search of turtles, to take DNA samples, measurement and help them across safely. She also excavated nests that were in danger of road mortality or predation. This was done under our Wildlife Permit. Stacey has a passion for nature and is able to communicate her heart-felt passion through art, to inspire others! Thank you Stacey for all you do for turtles and nature! And Thank you Jeremiah for sharing your life with us and leaving your mark on our hearts.