|Lavender's Bridge Bellingen NSW|
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Three dead and 24 ailing turtles have been found up the Bellinger River, north of Lavender’s Bridge.
Canoeists found them distresses and took six to the local veterinary clinic to find out what was ailing them. More have been collected since and now people are questioning the quality of the water.
The EPA and the Bellingen Council have taken water samples that take approximately 48hours for any results to come back.
The National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Office of Environment released the following statement:
"Three species of freshwater turtle are found in the Bellinger River however, it appears that only one of these - the Georges Turtle or Elsaya georgesi – has been affected. "This indicates that it may be a disease, rather than a pollution event which has impacted on the turtles. Water and other samples have been taken for testing and this should help narrow the possible causes."
- “Anyone with information which they think may be useful to the investigation to contact the EPA's Environment Line on 131-555. [Confidential reports can also be made.]
- EPA also advises:"Persons should not handle sick or dead turtles unless they take appropriate precautions, such as wearing rubber gloves."