We have all seen them. Those cute little red-eared sliders and yellow-bellied sliders being sold either from a roadside stand or one of those gift shops in Florida. Well this is what that cheap little $10 turtle turns into. These are both yellow-bellied turtle (Trachemys scripta scripta). Adult shell vs hatchling. The hatchling was bought and later surrendered, with a second one, when the owner realized how big they get.
Road side sellers love to tell people they will stay small if kept in a small tank. Sure, because they get sick and die before they can reach full suze.
Aquatic turtles need a minimum of 10 gallons of physical water per every inch of shell length. PER TURTLE. The more water the better. Strong filtration is a must to keep their water clean. They also need room to get out of the water and bask, as well as strong UVA/UVB lighting.
So for example, the large one would need a minimum of 160 gallons of water and a 2 foot by 2 foot area to get out and bask.
A varied diet to include live native fish is also a must. Pelleted diets can be lacking the proper nutrition. NO GOLDFISH. They do eat a lot.
Aquatic turtles as a whole can make great display pets. But they must be set up properly. Red-eared sliders and yellow-bellied sliders are the number one surrendered pet to reptile rescues. A lot of rescues have even stopped taking them in due to already having way to many of them. And no, they can not just be returned to the wild or dumped in your neighborhood pond. It is illegal to do so for a few different reasons.
Please help us reach our goal of $4500 to purchase a cargo trailer for the rescue!
We get calls weekly to take in aquatic turtles and unfortunately we are having to turn people away. Here is an example of why. Today was a warm day before an expected cold front this weekend, so I checked our baby pond to ensure heaters are working properly. We have 9 red-eared sliders, 2 map turtles, 1 musk just in our baby pond. Our two adult ponds are full too.
Mario and Brandi
The last couple of weeks have been very busy for NEWR! We took in 37 reptiles from a seizure of over 300 animals by the City of Wichita Falls Animal Services. Brandi and a volunteer, Devin, drove to Wichita Falls and loaded up the 30 snakes and 7 lizards. The animals did not come with any caging, so we had to go out and purchase tubs for quarantine. All reptiles are being treated for mites, an upper respiratory infection, some are thin and dehydrated and one Savannah monitor has metabolic bone disease. It will take months for us to treat and ensure all are healthy enough for adoption. Six of the snakes are over 8 feet in length and many are over 5 feet.
In addition, we had one owner surrender another 11 animals and several other animals come in from other individuals. Two sulcatas taken in have severe metabolic bone disease and the bottom shells (plasteron) are soft and several other reptiles have upper respiratory infections.
With the 50+ animals recently taken in and the 100+ animals we already had, to say we are full is an understatement! We currently have leopard geckos, fat-tailed geckos, bearded dragons, over five different species of turtles, three species of tortoises, lots of snakes, frogs, Savannah monitors and more. With all the different species come a wide variety of diets as well.
On this #givingTuesday, please consider donating to Nature’s Edge Wildlife and Reptile Rescue. All monies raised go directly to the animals. Your donation will also enter us to win a donation from the #GoBeyondGiving campaign.
Thank you for your support!
Brandi and Mario