Video: Turtle lays eggs near family chook pen


It looks like footage straight out of a David Attenborough documentary but this video was taken by a local family who witnessed the beauty of nature when they stumbled across a turtle laying eggs on their property.

Kama Spoor and David Zoglauer carefully and quietly filmed the broad-shelled long-necked turtle at their home, Duck Ponds Farm, near Gin Gin recently.

“We were out collecting eggs at the chook pen when I saw this long head out of the corner of my eye which looked like a snake,” Kama said.

“I jumped back in a fright before realising what it actually was.”

The qualified veterinary nurse said the turtle had trekked about 60 metres from the waterway on their 25-acre property up to the chicken pen to dig a nest in the soft ground.

“We just left her alone for 20 minutes and we suspected she was getting ready to lay her eggs,” she said.

“When we came back, the egg laying had begun.

“It was amazing, I mean, how often do you get to witness that at your own home?”

Broad-shelled long-necked turtle (Chelodina expansa)

The broad-shelled long-necked turtle is the largest of the long-necked turtles, with its combined shell and extended neck length exceeding 80cm.

They have the ability to extract oxygen from freshwater by pumping it through veined cavities in the throat and vent enabling them to remain submerged for extended periods of time.

The incubation time for eggs range from 200 to 650 days.

The broad-shelled long-necked turtle laying her eggs.
The broad-shelled long-necked turtle laying her eggs.

Kama said she was very careful while filming the turtle and even managed to capture two of the eggs being laid.

“She was gently moving the eggs around the hole with her foot so they were all stacked up neatly,” she said.

“I didn't want to disturb her so made sure we kept at a good distance and made no noise.

“I was in shock and was trying to contain my excitement.”

The self-confessed animal lover said she had never witnessed anything like it at her property before but did recall a prior experience with a turtle in the same area.

“We have now realised that the area near the chook pen must be a favourite spot for the turtles to nest,” she said.

“About eight months ago one of our goats was making a lot of noise and we went out to realise the same type of turtle was nearby and had startled the goat.

Mama turtle and her eggs.

“We didn't think much of it at the time but now its obvious that the turtle was trying to make its way to the nesting area.”

Kama said the eggs would be left alone but would be monitored from time to time.

“We don't want to be obtrusive to the natural process so we will just keep an eye on the area and wait to see when the eggs hatch,” she said.

“I am very passionate about animals, we live and work around all of the animals that inhabit our property and this experience has been one we will always appreciate.”