Oh why did the turtle have to cross the road?

Eastern Long Necked Turtle feed and thrive in the water, but have also evolved to be able to travel overland for large distances to nest and make the most of recently flooded water bodies. Although this ability to venture can help them to survive drought and changing weather conditions, when roads lie in their path, they are faced with a new threat.
Motor vehicle accidents are one of the most common causes of injury and death for freshwater turtles. Here at AREPH we commonly see turtles that have perilously ventured onto the tarmac and sadly come off worse for wear.
This individual was brought into the clinic during the recent rain with fractures to its carapace. Luckily it managed to avoid injury to the underlying vital organs and after providing pain relief we were able to clean and stabilise the fractured segments of the shell. It may take some time for the bone of the carapace to heal, but hopefully, if all goes well it will be able to return to the wild in a few months’ time.
Written by Tess Noble - Final Year Veterinary Student, The University of Sydney

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