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The Dunedin man was among those fishing for salmon in Dunedin’s Steamer Basin yesterday morning when he spotted something unusual in the water: a freshwater turtle.
"It was just swimming on top of the water and swimming to us and our fishing lines — almost like it was asking for help," Mr Moore said yesterday.
He and a group of other fishermen managed to net the turtle and place it in a bucket of water, before Mr Moore checked online and identified it as a red-eared pond slider.
The freshwater reptile is a popular domestic pet, native to the United States, but also listed as among the world’s top 100 invasive species.
Mr Moore said it appeared someone had dumped their pet in the salty water of the Steamer Basin, "and you could tell he didn’t like it".
"He wouldn’t have lasted long."
Mr Moore took the turtle to the SPCA yesterday and, after a seven-day wait, hoped to be able to adopt it.
"Hopefully, I’ve got a new pet."