Press Release: Charity Offers Reward for Identification of Turtle Nests Vandal
JULY 29, 2022 –
Repeat offender destroying endangered turtle nests along Muskoka River.
(Bracebridge, Ontario) Small Change Fund is offering a $1,000 reward for positive identification of the individual destroying turtle nesting sites along the South Muskoka river bank and road shoulders in Fraserburg. The charity intends to pursue a private prosecution, ensuring the guilty party is prosecuted to the greatest extent of the law for this crime against nature. This includes a fine of up to $250,000 and one year in prison.
The vandal is violating the nest sites of three different species of turtle, including the endangered Blanding’s Turtle. Their delayed sexual maturity, along with already threatened populations, means each and every Blanding’s Turtle egg is precious.
“I’m just so saddened, I’m in tears” says Bob Dyment, a Muskoka cottager since 1958 and local turtle advocate. “I kept thinking it was an accident but it’s not, this is deliberate.”
Mr. Dyment suspects the damage may be related to the upcoming municipal project to pave over 1,000 feet along the river bank and road shoulders. Advocates for the turtles have been vocal in their opposition to this project which would ruin this important nesting area.
The past three nights, the culprit has arrived after dark to drive over the nests. They are also tearing down signs identifying the location as critical turtle habitat.
“Who does this?” asks Abbie Branchflower, Communications Manager for Small Change Fund. “This is deliberate cruelty, purely for cruelty’s sake.”
Anyone with information regarding the destruction of the nesting sites is urged to call the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Tips line at 1-877-tips (1-877-8477) and report their information to email@example.com.
“I visit these nesting sites every night,” says Mr. Dyment. “It’s just terrible to see someone destroy them in this way.”
For more information and media requests, please contact:
Abbie Branchflower, Small Change Fund, firstname.lastname@example.org