With the release of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, many kids are getting psyched about the idea of having a “ninja turtle” as a pet. Unfortunately, real turtles aren’t nearly as exciting as those in the movie. Many times, when a family purchases a turtle as a pet, kids get bored of them and they end up abandoned or worse, dead.
Turtle Rescue of Long Island reports that many people buy a turtle or tortoise and know very little about their care and don’t realize how large or how long turtles and tortoises can live with proper care. The American Tortise Rescue group has reported that back in 1990 when the original TMNT movie was released, thousands of turtles were purchased, and many ended up being dumped in lakes or rivers, some even killed or flushed down toilets because the families no longer wanted to care for them.
Children don’t realize that “real turtles” don’t fly, talk or do any of the stunts and moves that the TMNT do in hte movie. Though, there is no DIRECT correlation between the movie and turtles being surrendered and abandoned, just as the Human Society recommends NOT buying a pet rabbit for your child for Easter, they also recommend not buying turtles as a pet because of a movie. In fact, the Human Society of the US does not recommend a turtle as a pet, AT ALL. “To protect your health, the earth and the animals, please don’t get a turtle for a pet.” Turtles can carry salmonella and can transmit disease to children. So, if you’re child is begging you to get a turtle and name him Michaelangelo, we recommend you get him or her a stuffed animal or an action figure instead!