Recently my wife and I went to Vancouver, one of our favorite places was Stanley Park. We very much enjoyed the nature in the park and especially around the Lost Lagoon. In this article I introduce you to Red Eared Slider Turtles of the park.
The turtles found in the Lost Lagoon of Stanley Park are red-eared sliders. These turtles got their name because of the red marking behind their eyes, although sometimes this stripe is yellow, and the fact that when scared they just “slide” off the rock or log and disappear into the water.
When we were there we saw several, if I had a better camera I would have been able to take a picture of at least six or seven of them piled up on a log together, but as it happened I was still able to get a few pictures of the turtles closer up. As cold blooded animals, they need to rest in the sun to get warm and to digest their food.
In this picture you can see the red marking behind the turtle’s eye.
Red-eared slider turtles are sometimes kept as pets, but it is illegal to catch one in the park and take it home, as it would also be illegal to release an unwanted pet turtle into the park. They are considered an invasive species and should never be released anywhere into the wild. You will note these turtles are not native to the area, or Canada in general, so at one point they would have been introduced, either by pet owners who discarded unwanted animals in the park, or having somehow escaped from captivity.
Red-eared slider turtles must have water to eat, and are omnivores, often eating more meat as youngsters, and more plant matter as adults.
Females red-eared slider turtles grow slightly larger than males, reaching just over one foot in length (30 cm).
Please note that in the USA it is illegal to sell turtles with a shell length under 4 inches as exotic pets.
All turtle photos are mine and not for reproduction.
Published in: Pets