Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Vinson Massif, Antarctica
Releasing pet turtles (or animals bred for pets of any kind for that matter) has actually caused ecological disasters in many places. Red-eared sliders, painted turtles, and the like are now populating areas that they should not be in and are competing with native turtle species for food and habitat. And because the turtles bred for pets are often the more hardy species that breed readily/easily - they can quickly overpopulate and drive out a native species. This is also happening with pythons, monitor lizards, tree frogs all over the US... many other species that people bought as pets and figured they'd just release it.
Then there is also the problem of pathogens. Many diseases and parasites exist in captive species that do not exist in wild populations. Releasing a turtle, even one that may seem perfectly healthy, could spread a disease unknown to an area to the native species and do serious damage to the population.
In short, animals bought from pet stores, bred for the purpose of being a pet, or captured from the wild and kept in captivity for any length of time should -never- be released to the wild. In fact, it is illegal to do so in many states unless you are a licensed wildlife rehabilitator and follow very strict procedures of minimal human contact and quarantine.
She sits in her corner, singing herself to sleep.
Wrapped in all of the promises, that no one seems to keep.