Can I release my pet turtle into a local pond or stream?


Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

Find more fascinating turtle facts in the brand new book TODAY’S DINOSAURS: A COMPLETE GUIDE TO TURTLES, TERRAPINS, AND TORTOISES by Stacey Venzel. (July 2017 / Sherpa Multimedia). Click for more info…

One of the worst things that a turtle owner can do is to dump their unwanted turtle, terrapin, or tortoise in a local pond, creek, or stream. In fact, having a turtle as a pet is probably not a very good idea for several reasons.

Here are some important things to consider when thinking about getting a turtle as a pet (and when you want to get rid of your unwanted pet):

• purchasing a turtle only encourages pet stories to continue selling turtles that are often caught illegally in the wild

• owning some turtles, terrapins, or tortoises can be illegal (state regulations vary so you should check local laws in your area)

Releasing your domesticated turtle into the wild is cruel and illegal because:

• your pet is accustomed to being fed by people on a regular basis and will not know how to find food in the wild

• your domesticated turtle has never had any experience avoiding predators and can easily be killed by animals that won’t even eat them (dogs off the leash playing too roughly with turtles and killing them are common in many suburbs, for example)

• turtles may carry diseases and parasites with them that can devastate native turtle populations

• even worse than dying, your non-native pet may actually thrive in the wild after being released and harm the future of native turtles in your area, depriving them of food, resources, and shelter


#turtles #terrapins #tortoises #TSF