Feilding home a safe haven for turtles
A Feilding household has become a safe haven for wayward, homeless and unwanted turtles.
Sheryl Wishnowsky created the not-for-profit organisation, Turtle Rescue Manawatu, in January this year after she was given a turtle by someone who could no longer look after it.
She started a Facebook page offering to home more unwanted turtles, and soon found there was a need for such a place.
She has since taken in about 15 turtles from throughout the lower North Island.
Wishnowsky said she had loved turtles since she was a young girl and was given two turtles of her own as a child.
Her growing rescue bale has joined five turtles of her own.
Wishnowsky said most of the turtles that came to her were from families who were overcommitted or couldn’t look after their pets anymore.
« People get so attached to their turtles, I’ve had some come in that’ve been with their owners for nearly 20 years, » she said.
« They don’t want to just give them to any Tom, Dick or Harry who has no idea how to look after them because it’s the turtles that are going to suffer in the long run. »
Wishnowsky said she worked closely with the Massey University Veterinary Hospital to ensure the turtles were in good health and to gain advice about their health and care.
She was happy to pass on the knowledge she had gained about turtles, she said.
« I don’t think that I know it all because there is so much information out there, but most of the time people can ask me questions and I’m able to answer them. »
Wishnowsky has opened her doors to children and parents in the school holidays to interact with the turtles and is planning to do the same over the summer holidays.
She said children could play with the turtles for a gold coin donation to help with their food costs and care.
Food for the turtles costs her about $20 . She is also building a bigger pond, which will cost about $3000 once completed.