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Dozens of turtles rescued in Santa Barbara, moved to new home in Arroyo Grande

Posted at 7:21 PM, Apr 20, 2023

Several red-eared sliders were placed in a Santa Barbara pond illegally, endangering other animals.

Dozens of turtles relocated from Santa Barbara will now be part of a new outdoor educational exhibit in Arroyo Grande.

Eighty-six red-eared sliders were recently rescued from the Alice Keck Park Memorial Garden Pond in Santa Barbara and brought to the Turtle and Tortoise Rescue of Arroyo Grande.

Santa Barbara city officials say the park was never intended to house turtles but over time, the population of the turtles has grown to more than 200.

The growth of the turtle population in the Santa Barbara pond is because people deposit their unwanted turtles into the pond.

“They get tired of them and then instead of finding a home they just kind of slip them into ponds and lakes,” Jeff Dobbs, Turtle and Tortoise Rescue Chief Operator said.

It is illegal to release red-eared slider turtles into the wild in the state of California.

“As they are increasingly be placed in the wilderness the western pond turtle, which is native and endangered and local, is being pushed out of their habitats because of these aggressive, red-eared sliders,” Dobbs said.

As more are dumped into the pond, the water quality worsens and the turtles continue to reproduce.

The rescue facility in Arroyo Grande will be able to provide the turtles with the specialized care they require. Plans are in place to bring the remaining turtles at the pond to Arroyo Grande soon.

Instead of dumping turtles or any other animals, the rescue facility encourages you to consider using platforms like Nextdoor, Craigslist or a rescue facility like theirs instead.