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Largest Western Painted Turtle on Record Found in Regina

Released on June 5, 2015

Researchers for the Wascana Turtle Program may have found the largest Western Painted Turtle ever recorded - a huge specimen that might be as old as the province itself.

On June 2, days after a near-record turtle was found, University of Regina graduate student Kelsey Marchand and assistant Alyssa Stulberg captured a large female with a shell length measuring an impressive 26.6 cm.

“As far as we can tell, this is the largest Western Painted Turtle ever recorded,” Marchand said.  “What’s certain is that in a matter of a few days we’ve captured two of the largest Western Painted Turtles ever found and it makes us hopeful that this is a sign of a healthy population.”

The turtles are the focus of a scientific research project being led by the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, the University of Regina and the Friends of the Wascana Marsh.  The goal of the project is to gather data to better understand turtle ecology in Saskatchewan.

“Catching a record-sized animal is always exciting, and the knowledge that can be gained about a species can be very significant,” Royal Saskatchewan Museum Research Scientist Ray Poulin said.  “Turtles are long-lived and slow growing, these two big turtles were likely in Regina when the Riders won their first Grey Cup back in 1966 and they just may have been here when Saskatchewan joined Confederation in 1905.”

After careful measurements and DNA samples were taken, both turtles were fitted with miniature radio transmitters and released back into the marsh at the spots where they were captured.  The researchers are now able to follow them as they move about the marsh, mate, lay eggs and find a place to wait out the long prairie winter.

For more information on the project, including how to support the research and even adopt a turtle, please visit the Royal Saskatchewan Museum website at

If you want to report a turtle sighting in Regina or from anywhere in Saskatchewan, please email the museum at


For more information, contact:

Sean St. George
Parks, Culture and Sport
Phone: 306-787-9087
Cell: 306-526-8635

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