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Feed the Turtles at Sandgate

Home > Brisbane > Parks | Fun Things To Do | Free | Animals and Wildlife
by Bee Hewitt (subscribe)
I am an artist living in Beachmere Qld
Published February 1st 2013
Check out Aussies 'Long necked Stinkers'
Long necked turtle
Feeding the Turtles
Today I discovered something very cool down at Sandgate. I had to pick up my daughter and her 20 month old son Noah from the Sandgate Library.

She shared one of their special places with me. At the little park in the middle of Sandgate there is a largish pond with a quaint sheltered bridge. Sitting on the edge of the pond was a dark turtle', about a foot long with an obscenely long neck. In fact the pond was full of turtles all grappling for bits of bread thrown at them by a young family. Noah got so much enjoyment from watching the turtles.

I started wondering about tortoises and turtles so found this website that lists the differences. In a nut shell, or turtle shell, the tortoise is a land dweller and the turtle the water dweller. The tortoise can live from 80 - 150 years and the turtle 20 - 40 years. The tortoise has a a cup shaped shell and the turtle more flat. Tortoises are herbivores and turtles will eat meat.They are both reptiles and from the Chelonians family.

I was fascinated and spellbound by the feeding frenzy before me. There must have been over fifty turtles, four good sized eels lacing themselves between the turtles, and other species of fish including hundreds of guppies coming up from the murky depths to steal bits of bread.. Every now and then a baby turtle would dart up from below. I saw a few ducks and swamp hens but the pool was 'Grand Turtle Station'. I would have paid to see this spectacle.

The long necked stinker or snake necked turtle (Chelonia longicotlis) turns out to be a tough Australian character with the equivalent survival traits of a cane toad. When threatened it squirts a toxin, from glands under its legs, that stinks and puts off the bravest of predators. Even the eels won't touch a baby turtle. They can survive long drought seasons and floods and can live happily in the sewerage.

Apart from all these not so endearing traits I really enjoyed my visit to the pond and can't wait to go back again with my camera and bag of stale bread. I was charmed by my quick visit to Sandgate and look forward to discovering some more of its secrets.
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Why? Feed the Turtles
When: Anytime
Where: Sandgate Park Pond
Cost: Free
Your Comment
and the park is called?
by ghand (score: 0|4) 2641 days ago
Welcome to Sandgate. You've just visited Einbunpin Lagoon. Check out the festival held around the lagoon later in the year.
by janin (score: 0|4) 2949 days ago
Do you have an actual address? I'm having trouble finding it. Thanks
by Tarad (score: 0|3) 2942 days ago
Thanks lah-l I was thinking about writing a second article and adding all the extra information about not feeding the turtles and why.I'm glad you liked the content. The pond was brimming with life and exciting for any nature lover.
by Bee Hewitt (score: 1|51) 2945 days ago
My three sons and I go to this park all the time. Bee, my 9 year old will be fascinated with your content and information in respect of the turtle species located in the pond. Please do not feel you need to take your informative article down. Is it just able to be amended so that local is included in the main body of the article along with a directive that council signs ask the public not to feed the wildlife. Many thanks for the additional information provided in your review.
by lah-l (score: 0|2) 2945 days ago
So, Bee, perhaps you should take the article down or at least amend it? For, most readers will read it and not the comments below about NOT feeding the turtles. The article is simply encouraging more people to visit the pond and potentially kill the turtles with their kindness.
by Jeffrey Bean (score: 0|5) 2947 days ago
Yes Someone else mentioned that the bread was bad for there health and I'm surprised at the amount of interest this seemingly innocent article has stirred up. Not a bad thing if it helps people learn about conservation.
by Bee Hewitt (score: 1|51) 2947 days ago
Dear Sylvi So sorry I wasn't sure which pond it was. I have since found out it is Einbunpin Lagoon,
Lagoon St, Sandgate. Roughly 25 minutes from Brisbane. Put the address in your GPS or Google maps. I hope you enjoy your day.
by Bee Hewitt (score: 1|51) 2947 days ago
There was signs posted by the Council asking people not to feed the wild life in the Lagoon as it is bad for their health. We do agree though, it is a lovely place to visit, especially with young children.
by allan (score: 0|3) 2947 days ago
Hi, with my 1yo in my arms & my 3yo tugging at my skirt, I thought I would quickly click on the turtle link because my little ones would love to see the turtles - if not necessarily feed them. Very annoyingly, all I got was a blurb on turtles! While I'm sure it's very interesting, this website is supposed to be about 'where to go'. Bee Hewitt, if you're going to post an item on this website, could I suggest that you put down the address and maybe some directions ...?! A waste of time clicking on the link because it doesn't tell you where the turtles are or how to get there! Can I also suggest the moderator check these articles before they're allowed to go live!
by sylvi (score: 0|2) 2947 days ago
Now theres a title 'Feed a turtle a snack with a big Mac'
by Bee Hewitt (score: 1|51) 2948 days ago
If the bread is bad for their health continuing to feed them will probably lead to their demise.
Still, as they are carnivors, you could try hedging your bets and giving them a Big Mac. But there again, I'm not sure if there's any meat in a Big Mac.
by Jeffrey Bean (score: 0|5) 2948 days ago
These turtles seemed to be healthy and tame. You may be right about the bread being bad for their health. Maybe these turtles have become dependent on the handouts and to stop feeding them may lead to their demise.
by Bee Hewitt (score: 1|51) 2948 days ago
Is bread good for turtles? At most wildlife centres you are specifically asked to NOT feed the wildlife using 'human' food. It's bad for their health, makes them dependent on 'hand-outs' and makes them fat and lazy.
by Jeffrey Bean (score: 0|5) 2948 days ago
Einbunpin Lagoon, Lagoon St Sandgate
by Bee Hewitt (score: 1|51) 2640 days ago
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