Spotted Turtle
A spotted turtle relaxes on a log in the Animal Care Facility.

As Museum staff members are busy preparing the new aquarium, the exhibit’s new inhabitants are getting ready for their big debut.

The Museum’s water exhibit will feature three live habitats: a turtle habitat, a freshwater river habitat and a Pacific habitat. Many of the animals that will live in these habitats have already arrived at the Museum, but they must go through a lengthy acclimation process before they can go on display.  They must get used to being around people, noise and, in some cases, each other.

For over a year now, two spotted turtles have been hanging out in the Animal Care Facility at the Museum, preparing to move into the turtle habitat. Spotted turtles are the smallest turtle species found in Canada, and while they are native to the Ottawa area, they are somewhat rare. These particular turtles came from the Ecomuseum in Montreal. The Museum of Nature staff have been monitoring the turtles, making sure they are healthy, happy and getting along. Their habitat in the water exhibit will simulate their habitat the wild, and will include a selection of other animals, such as mussels and crayfish.

Next week…we meet some feisty freshwater fish and some very cool creatures from the West Coast.