FIVE baby oblong turtles, the size of 50c pieces, were released into Maylands’ Lake Bungana today after being rescued more than three months ago.
Friends of Maylands Lakes members contacted Turtle Oblonga Rescue and Rehabilitation Network (TORRN) after a neighbour found a nest with seven turtle eggs while gardening in their yard at the end of February.
TORRN member Dianne Hunter said they were contacted to incubate the eggs, two of which turned out to be infertile, which were then carefully stored in a styrofoam esky.
The turtles hatched at the beginning of May and weighed from 5.7g to 6.2g and started on a diet of mosquito larvae and frozen bloodworms.
They now weigh more than 8g.
“Turtles like dark, still water and tend to freak out in an aquarium,” she said.
“We think they probably spend their first few years hiding.”
After the community crowd farewelled the turtles at Lake Bungana, Ms Hunter said she was not sad about the turtles’ departure, just worried.
“They’re so small and it’s such a large world,” she said.
Friends of Maylands Lakes member Margaret Landre said oblong turtles were often found in the three Maylands’ lakes.
Eggs are laid in October and November every year and after about a seven-month incubation, the babies hatched and made the journey from the nest back to the water.
During the journey, the turtles were at risk from cars, bikes, lawnmowers, ravens, kookaburras and water birds.
TORRN said if you find a turtle out of water to rescue it and call the local member on 0424 727 411.
If you find a turtle egg, place it in an egg carton padded with tissue and call the group which can incubate if the egg is viable.