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Nature's Stars

Turtles are awesome animals, but they shouldn't be kept as pets

Kind News magazine, Dec 2014/Jan 2015

Ryan M. Bolton/Alamy

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sure have some cool moves. In fact, they're so cool that some kids might want pet turtles of their own. But that's not a good idea.

Turtles are wild animals. Like all wild animals, they need special diets and living conditions.

Healthy hints

Handling turtles is also dangerous. They carry salmonella bacteria. The bacteria are not harmful to reptiles, but people (especially children) who handle reptiles can become very sick.

Enjoy watching turtles in your backyard or at a park, beach or along a stream. They may not have the same skills as Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo or Donatello, but they still are very cool critters!

Turtle facts

  • What's the difference between turtles and tortoises? Turtles spend most of their lives in or near water. Tortoises live on land in hot, dry habitats.
  • Turtles are found on all continents except Antarctica.
  • In the wild, turtles can live to be more than 100 years old. But without the proper living conditions, not many pet turtles live very long.

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