Growing up in the country provided me with lots of exposure to turtles. I was fascinated by their exterior, and how they draw their head and legs into their shell to protect themselves.
There were many factors I wasn’t aware of as a child concerning turtles that I’m only now learning.
For instance I never knew that:
Turtles are natural carriers of salmonella.
I’ve picked up lots of turtles as a child unaware of that knowledge. I must have handled them correctly since I never became sick as a result. How a turtle is handled is very important — especially if you have children — in order to avoid becoming exposed to salmonella.
Salmonella is released when the turtle goes to the bathroom. Young children can die from salmonella. After handling the turtle, washing your hands is a precautionary measure against exposure.
Turtles hibernate for several weeks at a time
When you sat up your tank, were you aware that turtles hibernate from 10 to 20 weeks at a time? That’s important because turtles need a special type of environment that will enable them to hibernate; otherwise they might die.
Turtles have a long life line. They can live over 25 years.
Turtles eat fresh fruits, vegetables and insects or mice.
Now that’s something I didn’t get the chance to observe growing up – turtles eating habits. I imagine it must be expensive to own a turtle as a pet considering how long they live.
Turtles aren’t social creatures; they aren’t fond of people
I became quite aware of that fact as a child. Whenever I came near a turtle it would retreat into its shell. I would try and coax it to come out, but to no avail. I became pretty bored after a while since there was no interaction.
I’m don’t know your reason for wanting a turtle as a pet, but since they aren’t very social, if you have children just know that children tend to get bored quickly with turtles since they can’t play or interact with them.
Turtles thrive best in their outdoor natural habitat, but if you are a turtle owner or plan to be one, it’s a good idea to research their habits and needs before purchasing one. Turtles are a responsibility and you need to know beforehand if that’s something you’re prepared for.