Dr. Oz extracts a fishing hook from a turtle during surgery. (Contributed)

Okanagan vet issues warning to residents after saving turtle from a barbed hook

Residents who fish in ponds near Shannon Lake should avoid using barbed wire hooks

Rose Valley Veterinarian Dr. Oz is urging residents to be more cautious around ponds in West Kelowna after a recent increase in human-inflicted injuries to turtles.

On Saturday, June 20, Dr. Oz and his colleague Dr. Noa stayed after hours at Rose Valley Vet Hosptial to remove a barbed fishing hook from a turtle’s mouth.

According to Dr. Oz, the surgery was successful but was very serious as the hook narrowly missed the turtle’s eye.

Dr. Oz said it is becoming more common for turtles to be caught on fishing lines and due to the danger that these lines pose, he asks that fishermen use caution when fishing in turtle territory.

“Usually people go to the pond at Shannon Lake and by mistake they catch turtles,” said Oz.

“Last year I needed to perform a surgery where I cut open the neck (of a turtle). The problem is not just the fishing hook but the barb and we have to do a surgery to take it out. It’s not easy.”

READ MORE: Kelowna crimes on a general downward trend: top cop

For residents who fish in ponds near Shannon Lake, he said they should try and avoid using barbed wire.

“We are begging our community to remember to avoid barbed hooks when fishing, as many turtles are looking for snacks,” said Oz.

While Dr. Oz was able to save the turtle on June 20, not all are as lucky. According to Oz, several turtles have been killed while crossing the road in the Rose Valley area, including two most recently over the weekend.

One particularly dangerous location is along Westlake Road where turtles use an underground tunnel, built by the City of West Kelowna, to make safe passage across the street. Although, Dr. Oz believes the routes are blocked, forcing the turtles to cross on the road.

“The routes are full of water, so they have to go up onto the road to get across,” said Oz.

“I want to put signs up on (West Lake Road) that reads ‘drive like a turtle’ because the turtles go slow and we don’t see them. So, we just kill them because we don’t know they are there. This is also the season for turtles to nest so all the fertile (turtles) are the ones that need to get across and the ones that we kill.”

If you find a turtle crossing the road, Dr. Oz asks that you stop safely and move the turtle in the direction it is heading off the road.

READ MORE: Above average rainfall in Okanagan-Shuswap a positive for fire season: Environment Canada


Daniel Taylor
Reporter, Kelowna Capital News
Email me at daniel.taylor@kelownacapnews.com
Follow me on Twitter

Animals

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘It’s just my job’: Off-duty Peachland paramedic saves choking girl downtown Penticton

Family vacationing in Penticton assisted by off-duty paramedic, who helps save 13-year-old

Evacuation alert for homes near Dry Lake fire rescinded

Fire status changed to Under Control, crews remain on site patrolling and extinguishing hot spots

Morning Start: The human body contains trace amounts of gold

Your morning start for Friday, August 7, 2020

COLUMN: Listen to those who know about COVID-19

Accurate information is essential when understanding the pandemic

Roots & Blues announces ticket giveaway ahead of online festival

The festival is streaming free online this year, but those who pre-register can win passes for 2021.

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

Central Okanagan adds 3,600 jobs in July: Statistics Canada

The region’s unemployment rate decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 10 per cent in July

Vandals target North Okanagan camper

COVID-19 ‘No camping’ warnings sprayed on local camper

Fundraiser launched for West Kelowna family who lost their home to fire

The family’s Sunview Drive home was destroyed after an accidental fire on Aug. 6

B.C. wildfire crews have battled 111 blazes in the last seven days

Twenty-nine fires remain active, as of Friday (Aug 7)

B.C. health minister applauds Kelowna Mayor, council for COVID-19 outbreak response

‘I think they are a model of how we respond’ - said Health Minister Adrian Dix

T-Rex earns big bids at B.C. dino auction

Over 500 dino-themed lots sold to buyers from across North America

‘We don’t make the rules’: Okanagan pub owner says staff harassed over pandemic precautions

‘If you have six people plus a baby, guess what? That’s seven’ - West Kelowna Kelly O’Bryan’s owner

Remembering Brent Carver: A legend of Broadway who kept his B.C. roots strong

Over the years, the Cranbrook thespian earned his place as one of Canada’s greatest actors

Most Read