The owner of the red-eared slider turtle found in Havelock North on a scorching January day has still not been found.

The rogue turtle was found on Kahuranaki Rd more than a week ago.

The turtle, who was nicknamed Theo, has now been found to be female.

It was the second time Theo had escaped in a month.


A friend of Theo's current caregiver found the turtle on the same road more than a month ago.

Theo was taken into his care but escaped once again before being found by Olivia Nysse.

While a post to a lost pet group on Facebook received much attention, the owner still has not been found.

"She is enjoying her new home in our pond and seems to be enjoying the goldfish," Nysse said,

This highlights an issue of owners releasing their turtles into the wild when they get too big or too old.

The turtles can live up to 50 years.

"Often, they are bought as small pets at around 5cm long. As they grow, they require more space to house," said National Aquarium general curator Joe Woolcott.

"This may become too difficult for some owners to provide or they may lose interest, leading to some being released to the wild."


Releasing a red-eared slider turtle into the wild is illegal in New Zealand because they can become pests.

"This species is a 'ticking time bomb', much like several pest plants that are currently on the marginal edge of their climatic range in New Zealand," Chris Wootton, Department of Conservation senior ranger, said.