Injured Footloose not fancy-free just yet

Tamra CarrMidwest Times
Michelle Jones reaches for Footloose.
Camera IconMichelle Jones reaches for Footloose. Credit: Tamra Carr

A young turtle that almost lost its leg after becoming trapped in what appeared to be a piece of plastic pool pump is not predicted to fully recover until the end of September.

The oblong turtle, known as Footloose, was found in late June in the Murphy-Yetna river by a man fishing for yabbies.

The man called Greenough wildlife rescuer Michelle Jones, who rescued the turtle, and observed the reptile’s badly bruised and swollen leg.

“From the look of the leg, I think he had been trapped for about a month,” Ms Jones said.

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“The swelling was so bad, I thought I might have to amputate the leg.

“He would have been in a lot of pain.”

Ms Jones rushed Footloose to Sanford Veterinary Clinic and a team of five took an hour to free him from the plastic, using a handsaw and medical equipment used to cut open plaster casts.

Footloose, aged between three and four, is recovering at Greenough Wildlife and Bird Park.

He still requires daily tube-feeding and three months of anti-inflammatory injections.

Ms Jones said she would release Footloose once his treatment was complete and she urged residents to be mindful about how their actions affected local waterways. “Please, just cup up your plastics before you dispose of them, everyone knows they don’t break down easily,” she said.

“Have a think about what you’re doing and how that will affect the wildlife around you.”

People who see disturbed or injured animals are encouraged to contact WA Wildlife Helpline, where operators connect callers to licensed animal rehabilitators.

The number is 9474 9055.

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