RECORD SIZE TURTLE FOUND IN BOOYAL
Family finds peculiar-looking reptile of record-breaking size
WHEN a Booyal family came across a peculiar-looking turtle far from a water source, they were surprised.
But little did they know they were in for an even bigger surprise. At 305mm long, the saw-shelled turtle they found is the largest of its species ever recorded.
Geoff Dickson and his family made the rare discovery recently near their property at the end of Marule Rd, Booyal.
“It was in a bit of a strange spot – there’s no water there,” he said.
“As soon as I saw it, I knew it was unusual ... I’ve seen a lot of turtles but nothing like that,” he said.
Mr Dickson contacted local reptile expert Ian Jenkins, who soon confirmed the species was in fact a rare find due to its size.
Prior to this turtle’s discovery, the largest saw-shelled turtle recorded was 287mm.
Mr Jenkins believes the turtle was seeking out a new water source when the Dickson family made the discovery.
“She was quite away from water, but they can travel kilometres from one water source to the next,” he said.
He has shared the rare find with world-renowned turtle expert John Cann, who he says just happened to be in the middle of a study on the species in the Burnett catchment.
“In the end it’s been worthwhile ... it’s quite invaluable for his research,” Mr Jenkins said.
Mr Jenkins praised the family for having the forethought to investigate the turtle’s origins further.
“This is all down to somebody who took the time to stop and pick her up. If he hadn’t bothered to do that, we wouldn’t have found her, nobody would have known that they get to this size and John Cann wouldn’t have that information.”
The turtle has spent some time at Snakes Down Under Reptile Park and Zoo undergoing DNA testing and will soon be released back to the wild.
RECORD BREAKER: Snakes Down Under Reptile Park and Zoo’s Ian Jenkins with the largest recorded saw-shelled turtle, which was found at Booyal recently.