Turtles found with swastikas painted on their shells in Washington park

RENTON, Wash. (KIRO/CNN) – The backs of wild turtles may be the last place you’d ever expect to see swastikas.

Police have been getting an earful from upset callers, asking for something to be done about the swastikas on turtle shells. (Source: KIRO, Cox, Viewer Photos, City of Renton Animal Control, CNN)

But folks at Renton's popular Gene Coulon Park spotted the Nazi symbols there.

"I go, ‘What is this? What's going on?’ It's very bizarre," said park visitor Aaron Green.

Police have been getting an earful from upset callers, asking for something to be done.

"Some of the passerbyers are like, ‘Wow, what's that swastika?’” said park visitor Phoukham Kelly Bounkeua. “Kind of sits with you uncomfortably, with that feeling and so it's in the sort of shock value."

Animal control has tried to catch and clean the turtles without any luck.

Some have noticed the symbol on the turtles is a flipped swastika that could have a different meaning Nazi symbol used to represent Hitler’s Germany or white supremacy.

In some faiths and movements, the flipped swastika is used as a symbol of divinity and spirituality,

"There’s a side of me that wants to think the best of people, so I'm thinking that perhaps it's a cultural thing," Bounkeua said.

But others like the Anti-Defamation League say the unfortunate truth is obviously rooted in hate.

The city of Renton is working with federal wildlife services to capture the tagged turtles, so they can be cleaned.

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