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Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Your Turtle Source - What Should You Ask Before Buying a Turtle?

Turtles can be bought in pet shops or from breeders. If someone wanted to purchase a turtle, he could go directly to a store, visit the breeders he knows, or even find online sources. But have you ever asked yourself where your pet turtles (and the rest of the turtles in pet shops) come from? Have you ever taken the initiative to find out? Sometimes it helps owners-whether prospective, beginning, or experienced-to know where the turtles come from, to be able to take extra precautions against disease or even illegal trading.

1. Turtles From Their Original Wild Habitats
Wild turtles are caught to be sold to the pet industry. This can be quite an unlucky fate for these turtles. From the very moment they are captured and taken from their natural habitats, stress and fear can cause them terrible consequences. It is not surprising then that some of them die or are injured en route to captivity. In their natural settings, turtles do not follow a fixed time and schedule for their feedings and water consumption. When captured, they may become lazy or listless. This process of capturing and taking turtles from their original environment also affects the population of the turtles in the wild, and may even present damage to their natural habitat. It has been reported that the search for gopher tortoises had unscrupulous turtle collectors wrecking the natural habitats, like rock crevices and bogs, of the animals. These actions can greatly damage the ecosystem as a whole.Your Turtle Source: What Should You Ask Before Buying a Turtle?

2. Ranched Turtles 

When wild-caught turtles are raised to a marketable size in captivity, or their eggs or hatchlings sold, we consider them to be "ranched." At least 10% of adult ranched turtles will die from overcrowded conditions, and ranchers will have to resort to making up the balance by taking even more turtles from the wild. Baby red-eared sliders are said to be the biggest number of ranched species raised for export on farms in Louisiana. 

3. Captive-bred Turtles 
Captive-bred turtles, raised by pet owners or small retailers, are animals caged for a long time, which are then mated with other captive turtles. The eggs they lay are then sold through on-line dealers or pet stores.

4. Turtle Farming 
Turtle farming means that the turtles are born in captivity and have had 0% exposure to the natural environment. According to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service studies and reports, a very large percentage of the total turtle importation in the US is almost always of animals seized from their wild habitat.

If you know the source of your pet turtle, the novice owner should go to his veterinarian to have his turtle examined. This is especially true for turtles that initially originate in feral locales. These turtles may carry very serious diseases or illnesses that can be dangerous to you and your loved ones. Remember, turtle ownership should be an enjoyable endeavour for you and your family. It should never place you or your loved ones in danger of compromising your health. You cannot, simply by looking at a turtle, determine if it has an illness or is carrying a disease. Only your veterinarian can tell. This is why it is so important to purchase a turtle from a reputable breeder or store, and to have an independent examination by your veterinarian.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Turtle Information - How to Handle Your Pet Turtle

With all the great turtle information available today, the proper care and handling of your new pet should be simple to master. Although the turtle may seem like a shy and docile creature that hides inside its shell, it can, if provoked, use its beak and claws to defend itself. You should always keep two issues in mind when holding your pet: the safety of the person who is handling the animal, and the safety and well-being of the animal that is being handled.
First of all, if you have children under the age of five in your household, it is never advisable to keep turtles as pets. This also applies if there are pregnant women in the home, or people who have compromised or weak immune systems.

Turtles are known as notorious carriers of the Salmonella bacteria. Salmonella causes an illness called Salmonellosis, which infects the human intestinal tract, causing abdominal cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, and at times, fever.
If you are a pet owner with a close relationship to your pet, the desire to hold, cuddle, or carry your pet around is certainly normal. It is very important to bear in mind that although turtles may appear to be calm animals, they do not appreciate being handled too much. If they become agitated or fearful, they will try to defend themselves by using their teeth and claws to bite and scratch. In fact, the majority of turtle information available states that they always prefer to be left alone rather than being carried around.
Even if you have already earned the trust of your pet, there are still precautions you must take to make sure that you avoid harboring unwanted bacteria, and that your pet is free from being stressed out.
When picking up your turtle, grasp it securely by placing your hands around both sides of its shell. Make sure that your fingers and hands are kept away from its head. It is important to keep the turtle's head aimed away from you, so that the turtle cannot bite or latch on to your body.
Be very cautious whenever you handle your turtle. Never place your face, hands, or fingers near or in front of the turtle's face or head, because it may reach around and bite, as some turtles have long necks. Always be quiet and calm whenever you are holding or approaching your turtle. Turtles have rather sharp claws that can scratch and hurt you if they are startled, stressed out, fearful, or uncomfortable.
Some other useful turtle information:

* You should always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water after you have handled the animal, its cage, or feeding dishes

* Never clean turtle tanks, dishes, or the turtle itself in the kitchen sink

* Never allow your turtle to roam unmonitored around the house, because it may leave traces of Salmonella on the carpets, floor, and other surfaces with which it comes in contact
This beneficial turtle information should help you establish a close relationship with your pet, without compromising either its welfare or your health and safety as its owner.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Tips for Choosing Turtles

Many view turtles as being the type of animals that you find in a zoo or in a lake and not in a home. Though some people don't think they make a great pet, others really enjoy them.
You have to know what you want to get out of a pet and sometimes a turtle can be the answer to what you are looking for. Maybe they aren't as fluffy as cats but they also have strengths that other animals just don't.
Many people who opt for a turtle are pleasantly surprised with their pick. While they are different than other house pets, they can be a ball of fun also.
Turtles come in many different varieties. When some buyers come in and expect to find just one turtle family they can be taken by surprise when they see the selection.
One option is the slider turtle which remains a top choice for a turtle as a pet. They do well in cages or aquariums and they often grow to be about a foot in length.
Another choice is the box turtle which can hang around for a century or more. This is really one for those ready to commit because chances are that they will live longer than their owners.
Painted turtles generally don't make the best pets for a number of different reasons. They are easily recognized by what appears to be a stripe painted on them.
Turtles can make really great pets in your home but something that is important to remember is that they can be around for a very long time so be prepared for that. Even though it is relatively easy to handle them, they can live many, many years.
Be ready for a long time that the turtle will hang around if you are considering one. Then choose the right one for your needs and have fun.