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Old 03-02-2010, 08:22 AM
2 posts, read 4,556 times
Reputation: 10


I live in Delaware and I am a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. I currently work with all species of turtles that need some form of care and then release them back into the wild. On July 30, 2009, a box turtle came into my care. The story: A family traveling from MD to their home in Philadelphia stopped and picked up this turtle hoping to keep it as a pet. The turtle had an injury. Upon stopping to get food for the turtle, the family was told by the pet store employee that the turtle needed to be in the care of a wildlife rehabilitator. The family was upset and left the turtle at the pet store with no information as to where they picked the turtle up. The problem: The injuries were quite old and had actually healed. This turtle was perfectly fine to be released back into the wild where it could be a productive female in the population. Unfortunately, this is not possible. Box turtles have a home range of approx. 2.5 acres. To release a box turtle wherever would certainly cause hazards for the turtle since it is known that box turtles will spend their entire time searching for their home range. Most people are unaware that this is the case and that box turtles can live 50+ years, causing the need for a long term care plan in the event anything should happen to its caretaker. Proper lighting and diet, knowledge of state laws (which in DE is 30 days-after that turtles cannot be returned to the wild-unless having been in rehabilitation) regarding taking animals from the wild and the above information are all good reasons why wild animals should stay in the wild. I can only hope that this information will find it's way to the family who, good intentions aside-maybe thinking they were removing the turtle from the danger of the road will read this and contact me with the information I need. Now that the overwintering period of this turtle is almost at an end there is no reason why it cannot be returned soon if we can locate it's home. Please, serious responses only. Thank you to all who may be able to help by reading this or passing this information on and remember if you would like to help a turtle out of the road somewhere in your travels this spring and summer please just pick it up (or prod it gently if it is a snapper-they will move along) and take it across the road in the direction it is going. Thank you for your time.
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:25 AM
7,966 posts, read 18,043,285 times
Reputation: 2588
This is probably more appropriate for the Pets forum. I'm moving it there.
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:45 AM
2 posts, read 4,556 times
Reputation: 10
Originally Posted by Tone509 View Post
This is probably more appropriate for the Pets forum. I'm moving it there.
Thanks for your help as I am obviously new to this particular forum.
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