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Campers rescue turtle with imbedded fish hook (5 photos)

It was returned to Jacques Township lake where it was found

WARNICA LAKE, Ont. - A turtle that tried to swallow a fish hook and was left unable to close its jaws is back swimming in a lake north of Thunder Bay.

A kayaker on Warnica Lake in Jacques Township discovered the helpless reptile on a log on Sunday afternoon.

It appeared the Western Painted Turtle, whose shell was about 18 centimetres long, may have got into the predicament by latching onto a baited hook left behind by an angler after a snag.

The positioning of the imbedded hook forced its mouth to remain open at all times, giving it a somewhat fearsome look.

With the help of a neighbour who had specialized tools on hand, part of the hook was cut off first, then the remainder was removed safely from the turtle's jaw.

When it was set free, it was last seen swimming energetically back toward where it had been found.