Have you seen the stories about the child who died from salmonella he got from a pet turtle? It’s so sad, and is yet another reminder of the dangers of keeping turtles in captivity. According to the FDA, there are more than 74,000 cases like this per year, so clearly more people need to hear about it.
And while it’s awful that people get sick and all, let’s not forget that keeping turtles in aquariums or cages is certainly no fun for them either. Far from it. The best solution for everyone involved is to simply leave the turtles alone and let them live where they belong, in the wild.
So the next time you see someone selling little turtles in a souvenir shop or in a bodega in NYC (they are super popular in Chinatown), speak up. And remember that it’s actually illegal to sell turtles with shells less than 4” long, so if you spot that, report the place to the authorities.