The Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) is currently treating a Western Pond Turtle with a cracked shell at their Wildlife Care Center in Burlingame. The turtle was found on January 16 behind the Target store in Redwood City by a Good Samaritan and brought to the PHS/SPCA shelter.
“The turtle has a three inch crack in her shell, which may have been caused by being hit by a car,” said PHS/SPCA’s Communications Manager Buffy Martin Tarbox. “Shell cracks on turtles are often times fatal, but with treatment the shell can be restored, however she does have a long road of recovery ahead of her.”
The turtle is currently being treated by PHS/SPCA’s expert wildlife care staff with daily pain medicine, antibiotics to stave off infection and cleaning of her wounds which includes soaking in clean water every other day.
Western Pond Turtles are native to the San Francisco Bay Area and are the only native freshwater turtle found on the Pacific Coast. The Western Pond Turtle was listed as a Federal Special Concern Species and a California Special Concern Species in 1996. Populations of this species of turtle are declining due to habitat lose and competition from non-native turtles.
“It’s likely the turtle will continue to be in our care for the next three to six months until she is fully healed,” according to Tarbox. “Once she’s completely recovered, we will release her back into the wild to a habitat more suitable for her than a parking lot.”
PHS/SPCA’s Wildlife Care Center successfully rehabilitates 1,200 to 1,400 animals each year and is funded entirely by donations.