You may have met her at Turtle Camp or during a tour of the Turtle HQ- Jeremiah is our skateboarding turtle! Jeremiah- who we originally thought was a boy and later discovered was not- was injured on a road when a car decided it would be safe if she went under the carriage, straddled by the tires. Alas snapping turtles cannot tuck in and hide like other turtles, and so, when they are scared, they snap in defense. Jeremiah therefore lost a part of her beak. Also she either jumped or the carriage was too low and her carapace was crushed. Because a turtles' top shell is fused to their spine (it is actually a part of their spine) Jeremiah's back legs were left paralyzed. Luckily, reptiles have remarkable healing abilities and can regrow nerve tissue. And luckily, Dr. Sue Carstairs of the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre, knew that Jeremiah had a strong will to live. Sue offered us the option of adopting Jer- and happily we did! After four years of physiotherapy Jeremiah began to move her back legs. Then, at turtle camp, a lovely camper donated a skateboard, and Jer got to go for a ride three times a week to trigger "muscle memory". Another year has passed and slowly Jer's back leg movement has improved. They are far from articulated or strong, but today, for the first time that we have seen it, Jeremiah began climbing in her pond. Way to go Jeremiah!! Watch her go here!
Jer, we hope to witness you walking in our future.