The Cape to Cape Explorer Tours team were involved in a dramatic rescue of a gorgeous Snake-Necked Turtle that our gides found injured and close to death. But this story has a happy ending with a successful release back into the wild!

Injured Snack-Necked Turtle found by our guides

Have you ever seen a Southwestern Snake-Necked Turtle? It’s native to the Margaret River region. And this specimen was found by a hiker on one of our guided groups as they walked the Cape to Cape Track near the Margaret River mouth.

Normally we’d never handle wildlife. But this poor guy was clearly injured, with damage to his eyes – possibly from being pecked by a bird. He was in a bad way, so we whisked him off to the vet for a check up and treatment.

Turtles are top predators in the Margaret River waters

“One eye was badly pecked. And we actually found him on top of a bush in the dunes, very dehydrated and weak,” says our guide James (pictured, at top with the turtle).“We weren’t quite sure how it got there. It may have been carried by an osprey and dropped. Or it may have been carried there by humans. Now it’s safely at the vets thanks to the Cape to Cape rescue team.”

These turtles are the underwater apex predator in our wetlands and river systems. They feed by striking suddenly at passing prey and utilising an enlarged mouth cavity – it acts like a vacuum to suck prey into its mouth!.

Relief as turtle goes back to the wild

Two days later, we had some amazing news. The injured Southwestern Snake-Necked Turtle our guide James and his group of hikers rescued on the Cape to Cape Track was tested and treated by the vet. It had a few days rest and recuperation. And was ready to be released into the wild!

Snake-Necked Turtle lives to fight another day

“The vet believes she may have laid a clutch of eggs in the dunes and become disoriented,” James told our hiking group when he received the updated news. “And was then attacked by a bird or other predator when she couldn’t find her way back to the river. It’s  amazing to be able to release her back into the wild. We’re so stoked, and so is this week’s guided hiking group who got to experience this special wildlife encounter!”

Booking details for your Cape to Cape adventure

Book your self-guided adventure on the Cape to Cape Track. Or walk with our expert guides on our 8-Day Guided End-to-End adventure. And we’ll see you on the Track soon!

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