Manitoba biologist Doug Collicutt has become the surrogate parent to 10 baby painted turtles.
They hatched from eggs that were accidentally dug up in a parking lot at Grand Beach Provincial Park in July. Now, the little guys — the size of a toonie — are wading it out (literally, just swimming and hanging out in an aquarium) at Collicutt's house until next year when warmer weather returns.
His son, who was working as an interpreter at the park was given the eggs by other park workers who turned them up while doing maintenance work.
The location wasn't a great spot to rebury them, Collicutt noted. So his son kept them and passed them on to Collicutt.
"I've always had a great passion for turtles and had reared eggs and hatchlings before. It was only a couple of years ago when I helped rescue a clutch of snapping turtle eggs from a trail at a condo development along Winnipeg's Red River," he wrote in his Baby Turtle Blog.
Collicutt put the painted turtle eggs in a bucket of sand on his freezer. He wasn't sure if they would hatch but recently saw one and then nine more soon after.
He intends to feed them a diet of fish and lettuce.
And for the record, he has no intention to name them after the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. In fact, he's leaving them nameless.
"I'm long past the age where I felt it necessary to name pets, and anyway these baby turtles aren't pets, they're just temporary lodgers in my basement," he stated in the blog.