Don’t Release Your Turtle into the Wild
Any animal lover would recoil at the prospect of leaving a cat or dog to its own devices in the wild. However, someone who owns a turtle and can no longer care for it might think that there’s a perfect spot in a nearby pond or forest that would be just the place for a turtle. After all, some say, there are probably other turtles there, and an abundance of food, water, and sunlight. But no, this is never a good idea.
While the natural instincts of turtles would probably kick in, a turtle that has been captive most or all of its life will not have the keen hunting skills of a wild one. Also, any manageable disease that a turtle might pick up in captivity can run rampant and unchecked if it’s released into the wild. So, between the natural competition for food, the uncertainty of the weather, and disease, your pet will have little chance of survival, not to mention the damage it might cause to native animals.
If you need to rehome a turtle, there are any number of internet groups and organizations that might be able to help find a suitable new family for it (see related links below). While your local pet store is unlikely to accept your turtle, they might be able to steer you in the right direction or allow you to post on their community boards.
In all circumstances, the decision to own a pet, turtle or otherwise, is not something that should be taken lightly. Do your research so that you can be sure that you are prepared to care for any animal companion you choose to call your own.