Turtles that find themselves in New Zealand waters, are a long way from home! Turtles are animals of the tropics where the water is warmer. According to the Kelly Tarlton's website, turtles that are in the colder water around New Zealand are often those that are weak or sick.
Here is a green turtle that is in Turtle Rehab at Kelly Tarlton's Sealife Aquarium.
I learned that there is nowhere else in New Zealand for turtles to go for rehabilitation, so Kelly Tarlton's are doing an important service for conservation.
To find out more about why turtles are endangered, I visited the World Wildlife WWF website. I recommend this - their photos are a lot better than mine!
Here are a few reasons why turtles are endangered:
- people have hunted them beyond what is sustainable
- climate change is affecting their habitats.
I like their infographic, which describes the 7 species and what people can do to protect turtles.
At Kelly Tarlton's I was told that turtles can swallow plastic bags by mistake thinking they are food - so two things we can do is cut down the number of plastic bags we use, and to pick up rubbish from our beaches.