New Canucks guard stuck at border for turtle paperwork


Braden Holtby cannot enter Canada at this time. For most Americans, this is not newsworthy, as the border between Canada and the United States has been closed for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For Holtby, however, he is cleared into Canada because he signed with the Canucks this offseason and must move to Vancouver ahead of the impending 2020-21 season. If the season is to start on January 1 as scheduled, training camps will need to open in early December, and players coming from outside of Canada will likely need to be quarantined for two weeks in advance.

No, Holtby is stuck at the Canadian border for a much stranger reason: he doesn’t have the correct papers for his two pet turtles.

Although many Canucks players have companion dogs, their new goalie and his family are torturers. Holtby and his family have two leopard tortoises, so named for the yellow and black patterns on their shells. Their names are Honey and Maple.

While turtles can make lovely pets with their gentle nature, they can be carriers of serious illnesses. This can cause problems when importing and exporting them. Canada’s restrictions are relatively relaxed, but they still require an import permit for all turtles and tortoises.

That’s what the Holts have to contend with when trying to bring Honey and Maple with them to Vancouver. They did all the right papers to import the turtles to Canada, but missed a vital step: They also had to apply for an export permit from the United States.

Holtby’s wife Brandi tweeted about the dilemma on Wednesday morning, hoping someone could help speed up the missing documents.

Braden is stuck on the border with the turtles and guarding them as he takes care of the net. Until then, he’s stuck sitting just outside of Canada.


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