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Pet stores that sell tortoises

People love their turtles and tortoises so consequently the number of people owning them is jumping every year. This is good news and bad news. At the same time people are buying and trading a large number of tortoises and turtles, the number of these animals in the wild is decreasing significantly.

A great number of businesses and individuals are profiting from the sales, including pet stores, online retailers, reptile breeders, street vendors, tortoise clubs and others profit from the sales of these gentle creatures. Adopting is only and logical solution to stopping the sometimes illegal, and often dubious, sale of reptiles. The animals come from an existing group of captive reptiles, and therefore, no turtles or tortoises are harmed or ripped from their wild habitat.

Turtles can suffer injuries and stress from violent capture in the wild, usually with barbaric hooks or traps. During transportation from forest to pet stores, turtles and tortoises are piled on top of each other in cramped, cold, soggy burlap bags. From the boy who caught the wild turtle for 25 cents to the pet store that makes a hefty profit of $40 or even more is a disastrous trip for a turtle or tortoise. Upwards of 90 percent of them die before they go on sale, and many live the rest of their lives in small tanks, a miserable existence for such a wild creature.

Habitat destruction, live markets where turtles are sold for food and international trade in exotics have led to a stunning decline in these gentle creatures. They face extinction throughout the world. Turtles, who came on this earth 200 million years ago - way before dinosaurs - are predicted by biologists to see a future of only 50 years. By then there will be no more. What a sad end to such a harmless creature.

Turtles and tortoises are wild animals, and they pose special problems as a house pet. These reptiles can carry salmonella that is potentially fatal to children, seniors and adults with compromised immune systems. We assume that every one has salmonella, so we wash our hands after touching each one. Because of this, it is very important that you do your homework before purchasing any animal, especially a turtle or tortoise.

Read Before Adopting Your Pet
If they interest you, read up on reptile's special care. The Internet is full of good information, especially sites that rehome and adopt turtles and tortoises. Reptile books are not as reliable and often have wrong information.

Many people change their minds when they see how much care these animals really need. Take into consideration that turtles and tortoises, for the most part, are not very exciting creatures. They tend to sit - hence their long lives. Contrary to what many children and their parents thought after seeing the Ninja Turtles movie, they do not hop, skip and jump through the air. This can be a huge disappointment for a child who believes his turtle has magical powers, but sits there like a log.

For those who are determined to have a turtle or tortoises become a member of the family, here are some key facts.

Water Turtles

Plan on giving a water turtle, like a common red-eared slider or a cooter, a home in a pond only. Tanks are cruel for these creatures who are used to traveling from pond to pond in the wild. They need a safe area, protected from predators like raccoons and dogs.

Electric fencing is a good solution, or a screened cover over the pond. These are carnivores, so you must plan on feeding them live food like feeder gold fish as well as a prepared turtle food. They do not need to be feed often, once or twice a week is fine for pond turtles who scavenge. They hibernate under water all winter and need protection from predators during this time as well.

Choose a healthy turtle at least four inches in length. It is against federal law to sell any turtles or tortoises under four inches anywhere in the U.S. Report pet stores and breeders who violate this law. They should receive a hefty fine.

Just like any healthy animal, they should have clear eyes and be active. A runny nose or swollen eyes are indicative of a sick turtle. Remember that this turtle is more likely to carry salmonella. You must wash your hands with warm soapy water if you handle it or the water it lives in. If you do this, it is unlikely that you will get sick.

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