First, here the article here.
I have two turtles. I bought them when I still in Florida and they moved across country with me. I was driving home from work one day and I passed by a guy on the side of the road with a big inflatable turtle on the top of his van. This peaked my curiosity, so I pulled over to investigate.
The man was sitting in front of a large pool, full of turtle hatch lings. They were so darn cute, my son and I picked out two and went home.
When I got home, I immediately started doing my homework to find out how to properly care for my new beauties.
Four years later, they are healthy, happy, and BIG!
Turtles do take a lot of work to maintain. I am not going to take the time to write about how much of a pain turtles are to take care of, but this is my turtle go to page when I have questions.
My soapbox deals with the article. I can understand how a child could get salmonella from a turtle, especially if the parents did not do their homework. I won't lie, turtles are nasty creatures. However, I have done my homework and I know the risks as well as how to protect myself from the risks associated with turtle care.
I handle my turtles. My son handles the turtles. My husband handles my turtles. We have never gotten sick. Why? Because we know to wash out hands immediately after handling them and we NEVER EVER let them or anything to do with them near the kitchen. I was absolutely horrified when I read in the article that people were washing the tanks in the kitchen sinks! Really? People. Come on. Let's use some common sense here. I also took the time to instruct them on the dangerous of handling them and I made sure both of them knew what to do to protect themselves once they are done handling and/or cleaning out the tank. Again, I have DONE MY HOMEWORK. I love my turtlies and I love my family and there is no reason why we can not live together in harmony.
Turtles require the access to water pretty frequently or they will dry out. The fact that the article said people was letting their turtles roam around their house. Um, what? Have people lost their minds?
Turtles can and will bite if they feel threatened. So, yeah, lets hand this LIVE turtle that can inflict a pretty painful bite to a toddler. Are you kidding me? For the record, I have only been bitten once and I deserved it. I did not think the bite could be painful as they have such small jaws, so I stuck my finger out and he bite it. And yes, it hurts. Its like getting your flesh pinched in a car door.
Turtles aren't loving like dogs and cats. They don't want you to handle them. They especially don't want you to touch them or put them in your mouth. Turtles are NOT nom-noms people. My turtles will take food out of my hands but I've had mine for four years.
The short of all of this is, DO YOUR HOMEWORK before you get ANY PET! There is no reason why people should not have turtles as pets as long as they know what it takes to properly care for them and how to keep you and your family safe.