BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Hundreds of turtles were found Tuesday night roaming the side of Highway 58 near Highway 99 in southern California.

Some of the turtles were loose, while others were trapped in trash bags. Authorities don’t know how the turtles arrived along the highway.

Leonard Plunkett of the Kern County Chapter of the California Turtle and Tortoise Club had a theory about the situation.

“These turtles were probably going to a market somewhere,” Plunkett said. “And, the way they were bagged and stuff, somebody’s taking them to a market to eat.”

The “red ear sliders” are not a native turtle species in Kern County and can’t be released into the local waterways, according to the Turtle and Tortoise Club. Adoption efforts are underway.

Want to adopt a water turtle? Call the Turtle and Tortoise Club at (661) 809-5527 >>

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