Kelowna residents caught trying to sell threatened western painted turtle online | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source
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Kelowna residents caught trying to sell threatened western painted turtle online

Image Credit: FACEBOOK: B.C. Conservation Officer Service

Two Kelowna residents could be facing charges after trying to sell a wild turtle online.

According to the B.C. Conservation Officer Service the individuals had been keeping the western painted turtle as a pet and then tried to sell it online.

The Conservation Officer Service was tipped off when a member of the public saw the ad and reported it.

READ MORE: West Kelowna turtle carnage appears to be down with new sign installations

"It is illegal to keep any kind of wildlife as a pet," The B.C. Conservation Officer Service says in a social media post. "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."

The Conservation Officer Service has since seized the turtle and it is now being cared for at the B.C. Wildlife Park in Kamloops.

In some parts of the province, the western painted turtle is considered a threatened species, or a species of concern which means that removing it from the wild could have a devastating impact on the turtle population.

The western painted turtle.
The western painted turtle.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK: B.C. Conservation Officer Service

READ MORE: Okanagan woman’s concern for western painted turtles leads to turtle crossing

Charges are now being considered for the two Kelowna residents for possession of live wildlife and wildlife trafficking. Both charges are violations under the B.C. Wildlife Act.

"Every year, the Conservation Officer Service 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," the Conservation Officer Service said.

The Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) hotline is a toll-free tip line that also allows the public to report suspected violations of fisheries, wildlife, or environmental protection laws anonymously at 1-877-952-7277.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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