I had the privilege of helping out with the re-setting of this turtle's shell at Woodlands Wildlife Sanctuary this weekend. This Blanding's turtle came in, and was in very rough shape (Warning - the before picture is quite graphic).
However, Monica, at the sanctuary, has magic hands, and while I held the turtle, she put all the puzzle pieces together, giving this very old and rare creature, much needed relief. We named him Leo, for his bravery, because the whole process took 2 hours and he felt the pain, despite receiving medication. We expect Leo to make a full recovery which will take up to a year at the sanctuary before he can be released in nature at the location he was found.Turtles are remarkable. You may be surprised what injuries they can come back from.
In fact, their hearts beat for days after their brains have shut down. They can also survive a very long time without food or water. They are so vulnerable and yet so resilient. And, these creatures are vital to our ecosystems and wellbeing, as agents of biodiversity and water quality.
Therefore, if you find an injured turtle, whether it has a mild injury or an extreme one, do not leave the turtle to suffer. Instead, take note of the location (so it can be returned to its territory), keep it in a dry container with lots of oxygen, do not feed it, and call your nearest wildlife rehabilitation centre, or the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre at 705-741-5000 where there are teams of volunteers that will help to transport the turtle to this "turtle hospital."