200 million years. That’s how long this freshwater turtle species has been flourishing.

That is, until humans came along. Fix and Release is an amazing short documentary that looks at a small turtle trauma centre in Peterborough Ontario, Canada. The centre helps turtles fight for survival against their opponents in the modern world.

As it explains, this is one species that can actually call dinosaurs a “passing fad”, but now is fighting for its life.

While many nature documentaries — and certainly animal documentaries — focus on the warm relationships between the animals and humans, Fix and Release is different in that it doesn’t flinch at showing the difficult reality.

Incredibly complex surgeries and fixes performed on animals that might be 100 years old — and not being able to name them so you don’t get too attached — are all in a day’s work. Though the animals are incredibly intelligent and hard-wired to get what they need, they’re not wired to deal with how humans have disrupted their existence.

Watching the complicated work that this trauma centre does is a difficult reminder of the impact we have on the world.

You can see the whole thing here:


Putting back together a turtle hit by a mail truck, doing operations on dead specimens to harvest the eggs — this documentary deals with the brutal truths of the work that’s happening. But no matter how much the trauma centre does, only so much can be done to combat humanity’s destructive influence. Hopefully, films like this will inspire us to be more mindful.