Tiare the rescued red eared slider turtle, pictured here with her temporary minder Morgan John, returns to her real home in Tikioki today, where her owners actually call her Richie.
The freshwater turtle was found in the Tikioki lagoon during the floods over the Christmas period and was in a bad way.
Volunteers at Esther Honey Clinic who were first contacted about the turtle sought the help of the team at the Whale Research and Education Centre, who kicked into action to house and care for the turtle.
At the time no one knew where the turtle had come from.
Sheryl John from the Whale Research and Education Centre says that they thought that the turtle might have been washed from the mountains into the lagoon by the floodwaters. However, she later found out it was actually a pet belonging to a Tikioki resident who is sure to be thrilled to have the turtle return home today.
Sheryl and her son Morgan researched the Internet and found as much as they could online to be able to build a safe enclosure for the creature.
It was three days before the ill turtle could eat and when CINews visited the centre yesterday, Tiare, as she is known to the team there, was active and feasting on fresh tuna after a lettuce salad that morning.
Morgan explains that the turtle has both male and female productive organs and mum Sheryl says that this means that when Tiare next lays eggs, they will be part of the live displays at the centre on the Atupa back road and are sure to delight those that venture to the centre.
The centre will close for the next two weeks for renovations and will open again on February 4, with more activities and wonderful creatures to check out