BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Lakes in Bakersfield are disappearing due to the California mega drought.

Bakersfield teamed up with an environmentalist group to help wildlife even though by that time many of the animals already died.

Truxtun Lake has disappeared and the Park at River Walk lakes are right behind it. Now not only will the lakes go but the wildlife will die too and that includes the turtles.

Bakersfield teamed up with QK Inc. a service firm located in Bakersfield. QK’s purpose was to help advise the city on how to save some of the wildlife at Truxtun Lake.

“We hired an environmentalist to be out there and take care of the wildlife and to mediate any problems that might occur,” Ken Weir the Bakersfield vice mayor and ward three councilmember said.

But QK biologists advised the city to do nothing about the more than 50 turtles in the lake. And the city agreed. Condemning the turtles to death.

“The turtles? The turtles don’t belong there. They are not indigenous to the area and we have been advised just to leave them where they are and leave them alone,” Weir said.

Bakersfield’s Water Resources Department contracted with QK Inc. to have biologists identify the species of turtles at Truxtun Lake and the Park at Riverwalk. The turtles are Red-Eared Sliders and are considered an invasive species according to the City of Bakersfield.

“According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, live Red-Eared Siders cannot be removed from the environment unless the removing party is prepared to keep them in captivity for the remainder of their lifespan… It is illegal to place, or cause to be placed, any aquatic plant or animal into the waters of the state.” (Fish and Game Code Section 6400),” said in a statement provided by the City of Bakersfield.

The tractors have already bulldozed Truxtun Lake killing the majority of the burrowed turtles. I went looking for any signs of turtle life but only found some small remains of crushed shells in the cracked mud where they burrowed and fresh carcasses of those that tried to escape but were killed by oncoming traffic on Truxtun Avenue.

But this isn’t over. The lakes at the Park at River Walk are next and people want the wildlife and turtles to be saved.

“I don’t want wildlife to die. Making a diligent effort to save the turtles would be nice,” Andres Torres a visitor at the Park at Riverwalk said.

“They need to rescue the turtles. You can’t just establish this and get all the wildlife going and pull the plug,” Susan McCoy a concerned animal lover said. “They don’t know what to do. This is their home.. It’s just not right.”

This issue all comes from the lack of water. Visitors at the Park at Riverwalk have noticed recently fewer and fewer people come out to the park.

“I have seen a decrease in people,” Torres said. “The water definitely helps in attracting people. It’s an unfortunate sign of the times that we’re in.”

But water isn’t expected to come back to the lakes anytime soon.

“If we’re lucky to get enough rain this year and snow there will be water back in Truxtun Lake next late Spring,” Richard O’Neil the President of the Kern River Parkway Foundation said.

The turtles at the Park at River Walk are expected to face the same fate as those at Truxtun lake. They’re going to die.

The City of Bakersfield said they are looking at options across state and federal levels to see what can be done for the turtles other than letting them die.