Sydney Helicopters “flying turtle” in WIRES care

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A long-necked turtle is safe and well today after being scooped up by fire-bombing crews in Forster picking up water for bushfires in the area.

“When I got back to Sydney I had no idea I had picked up a little passenger. I was cleaning out the water bucket the next morning and this little fellow dropped out” says Sydney Helicopters owner Mark Harrold. “He must have been picked up when we collected water and been wedged in the bucket the whole time.”

The turtle is now safe in the care of WIRES member Liz Bailey who said: “ The turtle came in with full GPS co-ordinates of where it was found which is absolutely amazing. In the area it's come from it would have been impossible for us to figure out where it was picked up, without the precision of Sydney Helicopters. Due to the nature of their great work we know exactly where the animal is from. “

“He is being kept in a very large container with water on one side and greenery on the other to hide in until he can be released. When he first came in he was hiding in his shell but now he’s extending his neck and his head so he can look around and see what’s going on. “

The Eastern long-necked turtle is a “side necked turtle” which means it bends its head sideways when it puts its head in and out of its shell. They breed in early Summer and the females lay their eggs in the banks of their chosen freshwater habitats where they stay until hatching around 4 months later.

WIRES General Manager, Leanne Taylor said “ This turtle is a very lucky animal. Since Thursday the 17th October we have been in the middle of a wildlife emergency and our WIRES volunteers have been helping each other and our native animals to get through one of the worst events we have experienced at WIRES. We have members who have suffered extreme losses in the fires and we would like to impart our deepest sympathies to anyone who has been affected across NSW. We have been overwhelmed by the public support we have received at this difficult and heart-breaking time.”

If you find a native animal in distress or need any advice or help please call WIRES on 13000 WIRES (1300 094 737)

WIRES is a registered charity that relies heavily on donations from the general public

Donations can be made online at

Media Contact: WIRES (02) 8977 3327

Media Email: [email protected]

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