ROAD KILL: John Melenhorst  he has been trying to help turtles cross Lawrence Road unscathed.
ROAD KILL: John Melenhorst he has been trying to help turtles cross Lawrence Road unscathed. Caitlan Charles

Turtles becoming victims of motorists

YOU NEED to slow down and avoid the turtles, according to Alumy Creek resident John Melenhorst.

Over the last few days, John and his son Francis have been rescuing turtles from Lawrence Rd before they are run over by motorists, but they haven't saved them all.

Three days ago, the father and son picked up almost 10 turtles off the road that had been tragically run over.

According to Mr Melenhorst, as soon as it rains, the eastern long neck turtles leave their home in Alumy Creek and make a break for the floodplain on the opposite side of the road.

"They come out of the creek and they very slowly walk up the big hill, they dig a hole and lay their eggs, but some of them go across the road and they get run over, because people just don't slow down," he said.

Since the rain, Mr Melenhorst has found holes in his backyard where the turtles have tried to lay eggs, but have been unsuccessful due to the hard soil.

 

John Melenhorst's son Francis took these photos of the turtles making their way through their property on Lawrence Rd.
John Melenhorst's son Francis took these photos of the turtles making their way through their property on Lawrence Rd.

However, with the few who have managed to dig a hole, Mr Melenhorst's son has been putting flower pots over the holes to protect them from predators.

While Mr Melenhorst has only been living on Lawrence Rd for about nine months, his neighbours have told him this regularly happens.

"It's only for about two kilometres where they cross the road, but yesterday we picked up nine bodies.

"If you see a turtle, slow down or pick it up and put it across the road," he said.

A National Parks and Wildlife spokesman said the eastern long necked turtles are likely moving around a lot due to the recent rain.

"People should take care on the roads... try and avoid them and drive safely as well," he said.


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