Shell be right, leave turtles be

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Swan -

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.

Pic­ture: Martin Ken­nealey

Call the Wild­care Helpline on 9474 9055 with queries on ob­long turtles.

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