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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-04-2004, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Hard Decision

Several weeks ago a visiting aunt brought me a wonderful little three-toed box turtle. At that time she told me she bought him from a pet store near where she lives. However, recently she informed me that my dear Pippin was wild-caught. Now I feel bad about keeping him captive for those few weeks and I'm unsure as to what to do. I don't really want to let him go, but would it be in his best interest to do so? Also, since I have kept him in an enclosure would he have trouble adapting back to life in the wild? Any advice will help, as I love him to death and want to do what is best for his sake.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-05-2004, 10:06 AM
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It depends on the laws in your state if its legal to keep him or not. I know here in massachusetts its only legal to keep wild reptiles and amphibians as long as they are not rare or endangered species.

As for the moral aspect thats a whole nother story, in the end only you can make that decision.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-05-2004, 01:08 PM
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If box turtles are not released exactly where they were found, their fatality rate after release is almost 100%. It has been tried numerous times to relocate populations that are in areas that are being developed and so forth, and every time it fails. They simply do not adapt back to strange surroundings. Now that he has been in captivity for a while, he really needs to stay in captivity, for another reason as well. Since he spent time in a pet store, who knows what possible pathogens he could have picked up. They may not be affecting him currently, but he could pass that to other animals in the wild and they could get sick. Thats the reason why many states (like GA) do not allow the re-release of animals. The vast majority of pet box turtles are wild caught, so I don't think you should be too upset about it. The people that collect them would have done it anyway, and it is far better that he has found a caring home with you than sitting in some pet store somewhere, or god knows where else.


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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-05-2004, 04:03 PM
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If he was gotten from a pet store and is wild caught that is a common practice for alot of animals found in the pet trade. Im not saying its right but it is done just like Ravnos said. I thought you meant she caught him and then gave him to you. Sorry for the misunderstanding.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-05-2004, 04:37 PM
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Thank you Rav and Toadie for your expert advice. Genuine, I hope this information helped you in making your decision.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-05-2004, 04:50 PM
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I agree with Rav. I have several rehabbed box turtles that were initially wild caught. I can't release them -- they would be unlikely to survive. I have, however, set up my own little captive breeding program. So even though my guys are living in captivity not all is lost.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-05-2004, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help. I think I'll keep him as I don't want to endanger him by releasing him in an unfamiliar area. However, I just wanted to add that he was caught in the wild and then given to me, not purchased through a pet store. Thanks again!
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box turtle, endangered species, pet store, pet trade

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