Consider turtle live longer then humans, is it a good idea to have them as pets?
If you have a turtle as pet, he would still be alive, long after you are dead. Charles Darwin's turtle, from over 200 years ago, is still alive, fortunately because he is the turtle of a famous person, he is taken good care of, within the past 200 years, he lived in three different zoos, in US, UK and Australia. But it isn't necessary all turtles are that lucky. So, do you think it is a good idea to have turtle as a pet.
This is a good question, could also apply to Parrots in terms of age.
For the average person simply looking for any pet definitely not a good idea, considering the nationwide problem with cats and dogs going to shelters seems many people can't even deal with a pet that only lives 10 - 15 years.
Age isn't really the problem though because most turtles and tortoises that are kept as pets don't live long in captivity because they require special care and environments to stay healthy and when the novelty of a pet turtle wears off, so goes their life span.
You mention the Galapagos tortoise. One of the most popular pet turtles is the baby sulcata (third largest tortoise). These guys grow fast, 4-5 times faster in captivity than in wild African desert (where their food is only abundant in the rainy season) where they come from, can live 50–150 years, can weigh up to 100lbs. and get over 2 feet long. Consequently they get too big too fast and then live too long their owners get rid of them. Zoos won't even take them anymore there are so many being donated.
Taking turtles from the wild is illegal in many states and a bad idea for the turtle's welfare as they are often territorial and stressed by removal from their home range, if returned to the wild may introduce disease the native population is not immune to or wander timelessly looking for their home range putting themselves in harms way of predators, roads, development.
But for whom I would call a responsible, informed and dedicated reptile enthusiast there are plenty of turtles in turtle rescue societies, who screen you for suitability, looking for a home and can make an interesting pet for a responsible owner who is willing to accept a lifelong commitment.
Absolutely. A turtle is one pet that can be passed on from one generation to another.
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