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Australian penny turtles are as real as unicorns so be careful before you shell out for one

Discussion in 'Australian Freshwater Turtles in the News' started by Craig, Aug 19, 2017.

  1. Craig

    Craig Owner/Administrator/Public Officer
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    Australian penny turtles are as real as unicorns so be careful before you shell out for one
    ABC Radio Darwin

    By Mark Rigby

    8817204-3x2-940x627.jpg
    Photo: Native Australian turtles can be great pets, but they don't stay small for long. (Supplied: Clare Pearce)
    Just like teacup pigs and unicorns, there are no such things as Australian penny turtles.

    That's the message NT Parks and Wildlife ranger Clare Pearce tries to get through to the "dismaying large amount of people" who ask her how and where to get one.

    "They sound cute and cuddly but they actually don't exist," she said.

    She said the "penny turtles" many people believed they were buying were in fact hatchling freshwater turtles.

    "Given the right conditions their growth is quite rapid and they go from being 'penny turtles' to fairly large critters within a couple of years."

    "They will outgrow most aquariums or tanks within a couple of years and either need a bigger tank or a pond — and they'll definitely need a pond by the time they're five or six years old."

    Another thing some people fail to take into account when buying a pet turtle is that many species have long lifespans.

    8816980-3x2-940x627.jpg
    Photo: While Australian freshwater turtle hatchlings start out the size of a 50-cent piece, they grow quickly. (Supplied: Clare Pearce)

    "Depending on the species, you could be looking at anywhere from 20 to 25 and 40 years old," Ms Pearce said.

    "They're a bit like the long-term commitment of keeping a cockatoo as a pet."

    Don't release pet turtles

    Sometimes because of their rapid growth, sometimes because of their longevity, turtles are often given up by their owners.

    Ms Pearce said while most unwanted pets ended up on the "second-hand turtle market", some were released into the wild.

    She said while it might be tempting to put native animals back into their native habitat, the reality was pet turtles rarely survived when released.

    8817272-3x2-940x627.jpg
    Photo: Ms Pearce says freshwater turtle shells can become soft and susceptible to damage if animals are not cared for correctly. (Supplied: Clare Pearce)

    "They've been in captivity their entire lives so they don't know how to find tucker.
    "And they also don't know what a predator is, so they're likely to end up as dinner for a hungry predator."

    Quiet, clean and easy pets

    Unlike a dog a pet turtle will not greet you at the door when you get home from work.

    But Ms Pearce said there were many benefits to keeping a turtle as a pet.

    "You've got yourself a pet that is appropriate to your environment as opposed to a cat that might get out and go munching on a few birds and the likes," she said.

    "They don't need walking and they don't bark and they don't leave poo all over the ground.

    "They're actually quite easy pets to have around, they just have some specific requirements to stay healthy."
     
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  2. Craig

    Craig Owner/Administrator/Public Officer
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    Seems to be all the same information AFT has been trying to spread for over 2 decades.
     
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  3. Aussiepride83

    Aussiepride83 Administrator
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    My turtles greet me frantically every day as soon as I walk in the door. They practically happy dance their way out of their tank!
     
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  4. Anna C

    Anna C Hatchling Turtle
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    " You've got a pet that's appropriate for your environment.... "

    Yet it fails to mention to everyone, just how much time and effort goes into, making your turtles environment appropriate !!! :facepalm:
     
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  5. Xavier

    Xavier Hatchling Turtle

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    Aha, this is so relatable. My turtles goes berserk when he sees me.
     
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  6. Aussiepride83

    Aussiepride83 Administrator
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    My two Flaviemys purvisi get themselves so worked up that they come clear of the water's surface with mouths open and obvious looks of delight on their faces. I remember remarking to my wife once saying "you could be this excited about me getting home from work." ROTFL
     
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  7. Xavier

    Xavier Hatchling Turtle

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    Bahahahaha
     
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