THIS abandoned turtle is recovering well after being spotted on a beach.
The yellow-bellied slider freshwater turtle was found near Fareham by a couple who first thought it was dead. The breed is usually only found in America.
It was taken to Portsmouth’s Blue Reef Aquarium where it is now recovering.
Jenna MacFarlane, from the aquarium, said: ‘We received a phone call at the weekend from the couple who said they had gone out for a lunchtime walk and came across the turtle on the beach.
‘We advised them to wrap the turtle in a moist towel, put him in a bucket and bring him down to the aquarium so that we could examine him properly.
‘When he arrived one of our aquarists gave him a thorough health check and put him in to a holding tank in our quarantine area, where he will stay until he is fully recovered from his ordeal.
‘There are no obvious signs of injury and there is no way of knowing for how long he had been left on the beach, however if he hadn’t been discovered by the couple then he would almost certainly have died.
‘As a freshwater species he would not have survived in the seawater and a combination of cold, dehydration and the unwanted attentions of dogs and even seagulls would have proved fatal.
‘Unfortunately turtles and terrapins are one of the most common pets that get abandoned by their owners.
‘People aren’t prepared for how big they grow and also for how long they can live.
‘However there can be no excuse for just abandoning them to their fate.’
The turtles live for around 30 years in the wild or 40 years in captivity.