Turtle “fighting for his life” after being accidentally hooked by angler

It may be tempting to cut the line, but a Canadian wildlife refuge is begging fishermen to always check what they’ve inadvertently hooked.

The advice comes after Hobbitstee Wildlife Refuge in southern Ontario took in a sick turtle with a hook stuck in its mouth.

“This poor midland painted turtle was found sitting beside a hiking trail by a kind person who spotted the hook sticking out of his mouth,” the refuge posted on Facebook Tuesday.

The turtle was first taken to the local humane society, which put out a call for help. Photo: Lincoln County Humane Society/Facebook

The turtle was initially taken to the Lincoln County Humane Society in St. Catherines, which in turn sought the help of Hobbitstee and a volunteer to drive the turtle there.

Once the folks at the refuge took a look, they realized something was seriously wrong.

“The hook had been in this turtle’s tongue for some time and we are dealing with a bad infection and necrotic tissue,” the group explained.

“Removing this hook when this just happened would have been a 5 minute job for a professional with a really good chance of recovery, now the turtle is so sick he is fighting for his life.”

The turtle now has a bad infection. Photo: Hobbitstee Wildlife Refuge/Facebook

So now, the facility is asking anglers to remember one important thing when out fishing.

“Fishermen: if you hook a turtle don’t just cut your line!”

Instead, scoop up the animal and get it to a rehab centre, humane society or animal services agency. They’ll be able to get the hook out quickly.

Hopefully, this little fella defies the odds and makes a full recovery.

About the author

Recovering newspaper reporter.

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