As the wildlife animal hospital in Île des Chênes prepares for winter, there is a lot of activity with releasing patients that have healed, as well as getting ready for animals that will stay for the winter. 

Wildlife Haven has experienced an unusual year with several injured turtles requiring medical attention. 

“It's been a really busy year for turtles and some of them take a really long time to heal,” says Executive Director Zoe Nakata. “We've got eight patients that are going to need care throughout the whole winter and maybe even longer.” 

Each turtle has different needs and Nakata says that means each patient requires its own aquatic setup. 

“So, the team is busy setting that up,” she says. “There's a lot of purchases that we need to make for that and different filters and heaters. And there's still some of them are still requiring surgeries and really specific daily care.” 

This past week, Nakata says they performed surgeries, and one of the turtles required a feeding tube. 

“And we're doing feeding through the feeding tube every single day,” she adds. “So, you can imagine that's quite intense for the team.”


A turtle with puncture wounds on the shell."One patient was bitten by a dog and needs regular antibiotics and fresh bandages, however, most of these patients have been run over by cars. Those patients require painful surgeries to rejoin parts of their shells followed by antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medication, and possible further surgeries down the road." - Wildlife Haven (Photo Credit:

While medical care can be costly, Nakata says there is also a significant price tag for the necessary aquatic equipment to have this many turtles spend the winter at the wildlife hospital and rehabilitation centre. 

“When we drill down the cost of the equipment, the care and the food, it comes to about $1,500 per turtle for the whole winter,” she says. “So, you can imagine that cost goes up quite quickly.” 

Donations can be dropped off at Wildlife Haven in Île des Chênes or online at and receipts will be mailed/emailed.

Wildlife Haven's newly accredited wildlife veterinary hospital is fully equipped with a full-time licensed veterinarian, diagnostic equipment, and an operating room to provide emergency care, procedures, and surgeries for sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife from all over Manitoba. -