Rescue Group Needs Homes For William Land, McKinley Park Turtles


SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The City of Sacramento has some turtle troubles as ponds are drained and renovated.

Many are upset that the turtles who live there will have to be permanently removed and are no longer welcome.

The turtles at William Land and McKinley parks are a popular attraction, but the city says they’ve got to go.

“That’s pretty disappointing, the turtles are a fun thing for all the little kids to see,” said park visitor Chelsea Nacke.

Biologists say the Stagnant pond water is creating a health hazard.

“The water is very shallow and there’s been a buildup of bacteria,” said Sacramento City Councilman Jeff Harris.

This summer, the city will spend nearly $1 million dredging and deepening the ponds to improve conditions for aquatic life. While the waterfowl will naturally return once the ponds are refilled, the turtles won’t be welcome back.

“These red-eared slider turtles are non-native and they’re considered an invasive species,” he said.

Delice Rood runs Sacramento’s Turtle Rescue Group.

“They’re happy there,” he said. “Let us foster them and let us put them back, that would be the most humane thing to do.”

But Harris says that’s a no-go.

“We by law cannot reinstall red-eared sliders back into this body of water,” Harris said.

Members of the turtle organization fought against the initial language in the contract that said the turtles could be killed.

“We don’t want them euthanized,” said Judy McCalver. “We’ll take care of them.”

So now the city is launching an adoption effort looking for suitable homes for more than 100 turtles.

Crews will begin draining the ponds this summer, and they hope to have all the turtles placed in new homes by then.

Sacramento Turtle and Tortoise Club