(Photo - Conservation Officer Service - Facebook)

(Photo - Conservation Officer Service - Facebook)

Charges possible for attempting to sell threatened turtle in Kelowna

The turtle was taken back to the B.C. Wildlife Park in Kamloops

Two Kelowna individuals are possibly facing charges for attempting to sell a Western Painted Turtle.

An investigation was launched by the Conservation Officer Service (COS) after the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) hotline received a complaint from someone who saw the turtle advertised online. The two people were keeping the turtle as a pet before deciding to sell it.

Conservation officers seized the turtle and took it back to the B.C. Wildlife Park in Kamloops on April 5 where it will be cared for and undergo tests and assessments.

Western Painted Turtles are considered threatened species, meaning removing them from the wild can greatly impact their environment and population.

The investigation is ongoing, and charges of possession of live wildlife and wildlife trafficking are being considered under the B.C. Wildlife Act.

The COS reminds the public that it is illegal to keep any wildlife as a pet. They understand that for the most part, people mean well when bringing a pet home, however taking an animal and putting it in an unnatural habitat can accidentally kill or harm the animal.

Any reports of wildlife abuse, possession of wildlife and more can be reported to the RAPP at 1-877-952-7277.

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@cunninghamjordy
jordy.cunningham@kelownacapnews.com

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