Animal Crossing

Animal Crossing

One sunny, dry summer day, Nookington Turtle went wandering, as Long Neck Turtles like to do.

Sadly, road sense is not inborn, nor learnt, by a Turtle. During the innocent act of wandering on a road, she was hit by a car.  A kindly motorist stopped to see if she needed help. As the Turtle was clearly suffering, our Good Samaritan rushed her to Tuggeranong Vet in Fadden, ACT (wildlife is a free service). The kind Vet found her to have a clean break across her shell, with an excellent chance of healing. Next, a call to the ACT Wildlife Hotline brought a kind turtle carer named Hange (also a free service), to collect and provide nursing care for little Nookington Turtle.

It’s no surprise the whole ordeal has been taking its toll on this native Turtle.  First, she was handled so much by the Vet, who carefully set her fracture in a pink cast. Then her carer, Hange put her in a “dry dock” where she must stay at least four long weeks. Keeping the cast dry prevents any water borne bacteria infecting her fracture.

That is a very long time without a swim. Nookington Turtle lives in an outdoor Turtle Ward by day. By night, she stays indoors on faux greenery with a tantalising water view. Hange offers her every type of fish treat to brighten this ordeal. When it comes to toileting (which she can only do in water) poor Nookington must be propped awkwardly with her rear in water, which keeps her pink cast dry (pictured).

There will be some good news. When Nookington Turtle’s fracture is pronounced “healed”, she goes into a brand-new swimming tank bought with Wildlife Heroes Grant funds. Better still, when fully recovered, she will be released back into the wild.

If only our roads could be designed for those precious animals who can’t be taught how to make a safe crossing!

Hange Sloan with Barbara Mabbott
Wildlife Group
ACT Wildlife