Man could pay for taking shell
HE thought it would make for an interesting decoration, but it could cost him up to $300,000 or two years in prison.
A 21-year-old Yeppoon man found a dead turtle on the beach on Sunday and helped himself to its shell by removing it from the carcass.
But the metre-long decaying shell was hard to miss for police, who stopped the man for a random breath test during a police traffic operation on Farnborough Road.
Rockhampton traffic branch Senior Sergeant Ewan Findlater said it was an offence to take turtle shells.
He said he “couldn’t even describe the stench” coming from the shell.
Police interviewed the man and took photographs of the shell to be passed on to the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS).
A spokesman from the Department of Environment and Resource Management confirmed police notified rangers that a turtle shell was found in a vehicle. He said rangers advised police that the shell should be returned to the beach where it was found, and they were assisting police with the ongoing investigation.
It is an offence under the Nature Conservation Act to take wildlife from the wild without permission, including parts of dead wildlife.
The spokesman said penalties of up to $300,000 or two years imprisonment may apply.
He said if a turtle shell or other deceased or decaying marine wildlife was found, it should not be disturbed, and could be reported to the QPWS on 1300 130 372.