Turtle-dumping in the suburbs


Let me tell you a horrible story that fortunately has a good ending.

I don’t like our neighbours. We’re still on speaking terms and they wouldn’t know that I didn’t like them, but there are little things. Like that they “take liberties” with our garden. If they see something, or want to collect their rabbit, they just barge into our back yard. I’m OK with that for young kids, but not adults. Also not with adults using our driveway as shortcut.

And I’m not OK with the passive-aggressive “Christmas card” about the one time we accidentally dropped something in our garbage bin at 5am.

But we shut up about it, because, eh, life’s too short.

But about three weeks ago my daughter’s boyfriend (they live with us) noticed their two early high-school age girls at our pond with a bucket. He didn’t see what they did, but they were either putting something in or taking something out. We have lots of tadpoles in that pond and they are kinda lucky I didn’t see it because I would have taken exception to that. Really life is too short but life is about to become a little bit longer for these people if they do one more thing.

Fast forward a week later, I was weeding near the pond and out of the water comes this fucking turtle!

It’s a Macquarie Longneck turtle, about 10cm in diameter and clearly not afraid of me.

In fact, it was very clear very quickly that it had been hand-fed. A pet. Dumped in the pond… oh wait, what about the thing those girls were doing…

Seriously, I’m disgusted.

The poor thing was so hungry that she crawled out of the pond because humans=food.

Fortunately also my daughter’s boyfriend has a reptile licence. He has frogs and geckoes. And a supply of crickets to feed them. And this poor turtle was HUNGRY.

After feeding the turtle and checking it out (it’s a girl), we talked to the woman across the road aka “Possum Lady” who works for WIRES and her house resembles a zoo. Possums, kangaroos, snakes, a baby bush turkey, a baby sugar glider! And of course free-roaming parrots that come to sit on your shoulder without notice.

Myrtle the turtle is probably happy where she is and will probably stay for a bit, until we can find a more permanent place. We don’t think she can go back to the wild (although these turtles live in the river nearby).

I hate to think what would have happened to her if she hadn’t ended up in our pond, or if we hadn’t noticed her until it was too late.

Here is Myrtle:


I uploaded a short video of her in this Facebook post (it refuses to upload on this blog).

If you have a few spare bucks, please support the great work done by WIRES

Comments are closed.