Kelowna residents caught trying to sell threatened wild turtle online

Investigation into turtle sale

Two Kelowna residents could be facing charges after trying to sell a western painted turtle they had been keeping as a pet.

BC Conservation Officer Service launched an investigation after a complaint was made from someone who had seen the turtle advertised for sale online.

“It is illegal to keep any kind of wildlife as a pet. Taking an animal from the wild can result in it having an unnatural life in captivity, or the animal may be accidentally killed by the action,” said BCCOS.

The turtle was seized and delivered to the BC Wildlife Park in Kamloops on Tuesday, where it will be cared for at the park as it undergoes assessments.

BCCOS says in various parts of B.C., the western painted turtle is considered a threatened species, or species of concern, which they said, means its removal from the wild can have a devastating impact on the population.

“Every year, the COS encounters people who have taken wildlife home. In some cases, such as ‘rescuing’ deer fawns, people are well-meaning but these actions often end with the animal not being able to be released back into the wild,” said BCCOS.

Charges of possession of live wildlife and wildlife trafficking, both violations under the BC Wildlife Act, are being considered as the investigation continues.

Reports can be made to the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277.

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