Threatened turtle needs surgery to remove fish hook in throat

A turtle on the Canada's species at risk list has been found in Windsor-Essex with a fish hook lodged in its throat.
The spiny shoftshell turtle is listed as threatened, which means it is not endangered, but is likely to become endangered if steps are not taken to address factors threatening it. (Tom Preney/Windsor Essex Nature Sightings/Facebook)

A turtle on the Canada’s species at risk list has been found in Windsor-Essex with a fish hook lodged in its throat.

Tom Preney says someone seeking help brought the spiny softshell turtle to Ojibway Nature Centre earlier this week.

Eugene Sylvester hooked the turtle Wednesday while fishing for catfish in the Ruscom River in St. Joachim.

He told CBC News he didn’t want to hurt the turtle or have it suffer so he sought help to remove the hook. He wanted to make sure it got proper treatment.

The turtle is so big, staff at Ojibway Nature Centre had no choice but to transport it in a standard recycle bin.

Preney says he took the turtle to veterinarian, Jim Sweetman, at the Downtown Veterinary Hospital.

An X-Ray clearly shows the fish hook in the turtle’s throat and mouth.

As of Thursday morning, Preney had not heard back from the vet.

Surgery was scheduled for Thursday.

The Spiny shoftshell turtle is listed as “threatened," which means it is not endangered, but is likely to become endangered if steps are not taken to address factors threatening it.

In Canada, the Spiny softshell is found only in Quebec and southwestern Ontario in the Lake St. Clair, Lake Erie and western Lake Ontario watersheds. The majority of Spiny softshells in Ontario are found in the Thames and Sydenham rivers and at two sites in Lake Erie.

The map below shows where the spiny softshell turtle is found in Ontario.

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