ABC Alice Springs By Samantha Jonscher June 14, 2020 It wasn't the first time turtles had been wrongly released into Ellery Creek Big Hole.(ABC News: Katrina Beavan) It was supposed to be a good deed, but this act of kindness has attracted the ire of local park rangers. Parks and Wildlife NT said at least five Murray River turtles had been wrongly released into a prominent central Australian waterhole. "There are no native of turtles in central Australia," said wildlife ranger John Tyne. And yet, Mr Tyne said, he had photographic evidence of members of the community releasing five of the interstate turtle species into Ellery Creek Big Hole over the long weekend. The park ranger said he believed the turtles had been rescued from the Alice Springs golf course ponds, which were being drained. A dinner plate sized Murray River turtle on the loose at the Alice Springs golf course.(Nathan Coates) "I suspect they thought they were doing the right thing, a kind-hearted citizen seeing some turtles in distress and plopping them in the nearest pond," said Mr Tyne. "I will be in touch with the people to have a conversation about this." The members of the community could face fines of over $1,000 per turtle. Delicate ecosystem Mr Tyne said that because water was so scarce in central Australia, its few water systems were vulnerable to introduced plants and animals. Wildlife Ranger John Tyne said the turtles probably became stranded when the Alice Springs golf course ponds were drained for maintenance.(ABC News: Mitchell Abram) "The Ellery Creek Big Hole is one of a handful of permanent waterholes in the Finke River system, it is a very important refuge for fish and aquatic life during drought years and any introduced exotic species is of concern," said Mr Tyne. "This species of turtles is probably not the worst thing that could have shown up, but one of things that could have come along with the turtles are various aquatic plants that could be a bit of a higher risk, or even parasites or viruses." He said that because of the time of year, it would be a challenge to catch and remove the animals. "The turtles were hibernating in the golf course pond at the time, so it's quite possible they just went straight to the bottom and have gone to sleep, so we may not see them until spring." Mr Tyne said it wasn't the first time animals had been wrongly freed into the wild. Turtles had previously been released into Ellery Creek Big Hole and Simpsons Gap. "We've also had to fish goldfish out of Simpsons Gap — which is a bit of a concern," Mr Tyne said. "Certainly any aquatic fish shouldn't be dumped in the NT. No animal should be dumped in the NT."