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Watch this baby turtle's journey from the Cactus Garden to First Creek Wetland

Date posted: 16 February 2018

Eastern long-necked turtle hatchling at Adelaide Botanic Garden

This is one lucky little turtle.

Earlier today one of our horticulturists was out tending to Adelaide Botanic Garden's Cactus and Succulent Garden with a blower vac when he spotted a shiny white object wedged in the soil.

Thankfully he turned off the blower to investigate, discovering an egg that was about to hatch!

Staff then watched as a tiny Eastern long-necked turtle (Chelodina longicollis) began to break out of its shell.

It's thought its mum must've wandered over from nearby Main Lake to lay the egg.

Our quick-thinking First Creek Wetland curator came to the rescue and took the little guy to the banks of the Wetland where it rushed to the water for the first time.

Thankfully once a turtle deposits her eggs, her job as a mother is basically done, so all that's left for our little friend to do is evade predators and learn the ways of the world in our Wetland.

Good luck, mate, and godspeed!

About Eastern long-necked turtles

These turtles are endemic to Australia and are widespread throughout the country's south-east.

They occupy an array of freshwater habitats, although they're particularly abundant in shallow and ephemeral wetlands.

Females will lay one-to-three clutches of 2-10 eggs each year, and three-to-five months later the hatchlings break out of their shells.

They grow up to become, on average, 25 centimetres in length and weighing 602 grams, and they'r elife expectancy ranges from 31-to-37 years.

They're primarily bottom-dwelling, but they do like to leave the water to bask in the sun - keep an eye out in the Wetland and Main Lake in the summer months!

The turtles are carnivorous and they're ambush predators, loving to snack on aquatic invertebrates, fish, tadpoles, crustaceans, plankton and carrion (decaying flesh of dead animals).

Eastern long-necked turtles are considered common and not threatened.

See if you can spot one on your next visit!

For more info on Eastern long-necked turtles visit the Encyclopedia of Life.

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