Council staff found the tortoise, four-legged and possibly more accurately described as a tortoise, went missing in the Watercolor Swimming Green Sea Geometric Turtle Shirt playground at Tahunanui Beach last week.
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They claim it has been relocated or taken away for restoration.
Community service manager Roger Ball said they received a call from Marlborough County Council saying a rogue turtle had been found at Blenheim’s Pollard Park and wondered if it was from Nelson.
He said anyone who took a 100 kg tortoise could do so with some difficulty, but the Watercolor Swimming Green Sea Geometric Turtle Shirt council is happy to be able to reunite it with the concrete turtle family in Tahunanui.
“Oh, these are very much loved parts of the playground in Tahunanui. They are part of a larger practice area and the other playing facilities down there,” Ball said.
“They’ve been there since it was built, I think 1963.”
After identifying the tortoise in a photo, a council official made a circuit trip to retrieve an important part of the Nelson legacy.
“They have been around for more than 50 years and we have yet to lose one. It weighs 100 kg and has just made a 117 km journey which is a long way for a terrestrial turtle, especially one I have concrete feet “. Ball said.
“We are relieved to take it back and know it hasn’t been taken hostage yet, but we want people to leave them there so the Watercolor Swimming Green Sea Geometric Turtle Shirt kids can enjoy them and we don’t want them spoiled.
” We certainly don’t want to have to drive to Marlborough to bring them back.