Originally Posted by Angel Girl
What a helpful piece of advice! Fines and jailtime? I don't think that's the advice she's looking for, plus it's not like she went out looking for a pet turtle, and I don't think the cat would be put in jail for this!
Amanda, do you have an idea where the turtle came from? If not, try to find out from a pet store if they know of a place to bring the turtle. They may be familiar with the area and know of a place these turtles tend to build their homes. Good luck with it, keep us posted.
Amanda asked for advice. My advice was release it. It's a wild animal, not a pet. I gave reasons why. Amanda is not a child, I wouldn't treat her like one.
I am asssuming that she is considering keeping it as a pet from her post here, and in the thread wanting to know what she should name it.
My advice was also based on the fact that she doesn't even know what type of turtle/tortiose it is (if you don't know what it IS, how do you know what to feed it, how much to water, what temps to keep it at, what humidity, etc?),
...AND the fact that tortoises and turtles are very difficult to maintain in captivity ...correctly. They are just slower to die than most animals kept incorrectly.
You are correct on one thing, law enforcement authorities wouldn't arrest the cat, nor Amanda. However, they WOULD probably fine her parents for possession of an endangered or threatened animal.
According to Texas Parks and Wildlife: "A low reproductive rate, historic heavy exploitation by pet suppliers, and other factors have led to a severe population decline of the species. This has resulted in its being listed in 1977 as a protected nongame (threatened) species, thus affording protection from being taken, possessed, transported, exported, sold, or offered for sale."
Should I have told her that it was legal to keep it, or to feed it cactus pads ...just don't tell the authorities?
Calling the state fish and wildlife is the best way to deal with it responsibly. Asking at pet stores is not necessarily the best way to find a home for a wild animal.
As I'm sure, you'll agree, pet stores vary in the quality and knowledge of their staff. I've often seen them keep turtles and invertebrates in inappropriate conditions, ...and illegally sell native animals ..like box turtles.
They are probably not the best source of information concerning the legality of animal ownership, and the natural history and conservation of native species. The state wildlife commission IS.