Shell be right, leave turtles be
AS spring gets under way, oblong turtles and hatchlings are starting to move from sandy nests to local wetlands and rivers.
But the Department of Parks and Wildlife, based in Kensington, is reminding people who come across them not to pick them up.
Parks and Wildlife officer Matt Swan said the department had been contacted by a number of people who have spotted the hatchlings and feared they may be in danger.
“However we want to let the public know it is perfectly normal for hatchlings to be searching for nearby wetlands at this time of year as they emerge from their nests,” he said.
“If the turtles are in a safe area, we are strongly urging people to refrain from handling or disturbing them in the wild.
“And if you discover hatchlings in your garden, please keep household pets away from them.”
He also reminded the public that oblong turtles were a native species and cannot be collected from wetlands and waterways to take home and be kept as pets.
“As a native species, the oblong turtle is protected under the Wildlife Conservation Act,” he said.
Call the Wildcare Helpline on 9474 9055 with queries on oblong turtles.