Young Aussie praised for vital act during turtle encounter

Miller Wilson just happened to be wandering past when he spotted something on the creek floor.

Miller Wilson speaking to camera (left) and him picking up the turtle while on the phone to the wildlife rescuer (right).
Miller Wilson was praised for rescuing the turtle after it was caught in mud during low tide. Source: TikTok

A young Aussie who rescued a stranded turtle during low tide has been held up as an example of how best to help wildlife when they are in need, with it likely the turtle would have "cooked in his shell" if the man hadn't been on hand to help.

Miller Wilson, 20, is a wildlife enthusiast who was on the hunt for mud crabs when he spotted sight of a turtle stuck in a muddy Queensland creek. He initially thought it was dead but as he took a closer look the turtle opened its eyes.

"I was walking through the mangroves looking for mud crabs and there's this turtle, he's probably like 20 metres away from the water... I think he's just timed the tide wrong," he said in a video on social media while on the phone to a wildlife rescuer. "I don't want to get in trouble by grabbing him."

With the wildlife rescuer's permission, Wilson picked the turtle up while following instructions on how best to handle the animal — which involved picking it up from the top and bottom sections of its shell. The turtle "paddled" in the air as it was moved closer to the water and once relocated, it was able to swim back to safety.

After sharing footage of the rescue online, Wilson was commended on his efforts, especially for seeking out advice from a licensed individual.

The turtle swimming away after being rescued (left) and the turtle barely visible among debris and mud on the creek floor (right).
The turtle was barely visible in the mud (right) before it was returned back to the water. Source: TikTok

"Love that you actually sought expert advice first, you really did your absolute best for that turtle," one person wrote, while many others thanked him for his good deed.

Most of Queensland's native wildlife is protected under the Nature Conversation Act meaning there are strict guidelines around their handling.

However, interference like Wilson's can be vital for an animal's survival and reaching out for advice from a licensed individual or wildlife group is the "right" course of action.

"Based on what is shown in the video, it appears that this person has done the right thing by reporting the stranded turtle and following directions," a Queensland Department of Environment, Science and Innovation (DESI) officer told Yahoo News.

The DESI recommend sharing as much information when on the phone to help aid the rescue process, like describing the location and what is wrong with the animal, as well as sending pictures if possible.

"All marine animal strandings should be reported to the DESI as soon as possible by phoning 1300 130 372," the spokesperson said.

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