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Western Pond Turtle In California With Cracked Shell On The Mend

The turtle was found in a Target store parking lot with a cracked shell.

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A western pond turtle (Actinemys marmorata) that was found in a Burlingame, Calif. Target store parking lot, with a cracked shell is on the mend at the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA in Burlingame, Calif. The turtle was brought to the society by a passerby who found the turtle outside a Target store in Redwood City.

“The turtle has a three inch crack in her shell, which may have been caused by being hit by a car,” Buffy Martin Tarbox , the PHS/SPCA’s communications manager told Koit.com.  “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.”

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“Injuries like this in turtles can take up to six months to heal, so we’ll keep treating her until she is fully healed and ready to go back to the wild (not behind Target) in Redwood City.”

“Once she’s completely recovered, we will release her back into the wild to a habitat more suitable for her than a parking lot,” Tarbox told Koit.com


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The western pond turtle is found primarily on the west coast of the United States, from western Washington to northwest Baja California. There are two subspecies of the turtle, the northwestern pond turtle (Emys marmorata) that occurs north of the American River and the southwestern pond turtle (Emys pallida) that is found around San Francisco south all the way into Baja California. Listed as vulnerable by the IUCN, the western pond turtle is an omnivore, subsisting on insects, crayfish and other aquatic invertebrates as well as plant matter. They are also known to eat fish, tadpoles and dead animal matter.