STAY ALERT: All Coast Reptile Relocations’ Jordan Sparrow recently located a dead broad-shelled river turtle on the shoulder of Kawana Way Link Rd with a crushed shell and is calling for motorists to be more alert after recent rainfall. Picture: Patrick Woods
STAY ALERT: All Coast Reptile Relocations’ Jordan Sparrow recently located a dead broad-shelled river turtle on the shoulder of Kawana Way Link Rd with a crushed shell and is calling for motorists to be more alert after recent rainfall. Picture: Patrick Woods

Crushed turtle sparks calls for motorists to watch out

A LOCAL reptile relocator who found a dead turtle on the side of a major Coast road is calling for motorists to be more alert after recent rainfall.

All Coast Reptile Relocations' Jordan Sparrow recently located a broad-shelled river turtle on the shoulder of Kawana Way Link Rd with a crushed shell.

The broad-shelled river turtle is the largest of the long-necked species, and it's the first of its kind that Mr Sparrow has seen on the Coast, which he said "makes this all the more tragic".

"As with all wildlife, turtles become extremely vulnerable when they leave their natural habitat," Mr Sparrow said.

"When river systems swell and become fast moving with rainwater, it forces turtles out of the calm water they like and they begin searching for a more suitable habitat until the rain passes."

STAY ALERT: All Coast Reptile Relocations' Jordan Sparrow recently located a dead broad-shelled river turtle on the shoulder of Kawana Way Link Rd with a crushed shell and is calling for motorists to be more alert after recent rainfall.
STAY ALERT: All Coast Reptile Relocations' Jordan Sparrow recently located a dead broad-shelled river turtle on the shoulder of Kawana Way Link Rd with a crushed shell and is calling for motorists to be more alert after recent rainfall.

Mr Sparrow said animals crossed roads for many different reasons.

Reptiles use the bitumen to warm up after dark as it holds heat.

"They can often be seen stretched out along the road basking, (which is why) snakes are very common to see deceased on the side of the road," he said.

But while the animal's injuries may seem fatal, Mr Sparrow said animals can be "extremely hardy" and don't necessarily die upon impact.

"Even when it seems the animal would not be able to survive its injuries, it is always best to consult a professional," he said.

"A professional will be able to determine if the animal is egg bound (because) eggs can and have been saved from deceased mothers and incubated in captivity.

"Or whether a mammal is carrying a joey in its pouch.

"Not many people know that if given the appropriate care, a turtle's shell can be mended, stuck back together and it is likely it will be able to be released back into the wild."

Mr Sparrow said people ought to stop thinking "oh well" if they hit an animal "and start caring and looking out for our wildlife".

"Just stop and consult a professional, you may be able to save its life or its offspring's life, as opposed to leaving it to die a slow horrible death on the side of the road," he said.

"If unfortunately you have had an incident with an animal on our roads, please call us or your local wildlife rescue program so the animal can receive the help it needs."


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