March 5, 2013
A pair of freshwater turtles is being looked after at Hastings’ Blue Reef Aquarium after being abandoned there at the weekend.
A man walked in to the Rock-a-Nore Road aquarium on Sunday, carrying a cardboard box and asked staff if they could look after what was inside.
The man then left and, after opening the box, staff discovered two yellow bellied slider turtles.
The turtles were covered in filth and had no water. Aquarists immediately took them away to be cleaned and fed and they are now being kept under observation in the aquarium’s quarantine area.
“The turtles, which we have nicknamed Bert and Ernie, were in a very poor state when they got to us and were both extremely hungry,” said Blue Reef’s Chrissie Daniels.
“Despite their ordeal they appear to be making a good recovery but we will keep monitoring them closely for the next couple of weeks to ensure they’re going to be okay.
“There is a growing problem with regard to people abandoning exotic pets like turtles. Unfortunately the owners buy these cute little creatures and either don’t realise, or fail to take into account the fact they will keep getting bigger.
“Terrapins and turtles start out about the size of a 50 pence coin but within a few years they can reach the size of a dinner plate or more and that’s when people start abandoning them,” she added.
Staff at the aquarium have built a special tank at the front of the attraction for the turtles, but are warning they cannot cope with any more abandoned pets.
Anyone who spots terrapins or turtles in the wild should get in contact with their local animal rescue organisation.