asking you to save a turtle's life and perhaps even your child's.
August, your children will be enjoying another edition of the extremely popular
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie release.
This will include a whole new generation of kids who missed the 2007 animated
film. It's fun and great entertainment.
we are writing this to ask for your help.
Since the first movie was released in 1990, hundreds of thousands of
live turtles, mostly water turtles called red eared sliders, were purchased for
between $10 and $25 after each ninja movie was released. The result? Many, if not most, were dumped and even deliberately
killed or flushed down the toilet.
children do not realize that real turtles do not fly, perform stunts or do any
of the exciting moves fictional movie turtles do. Parents, trying to please their children,
purchase live turtles which end up languishing in tanks. Most of these turtles are taken out of the
wild and sold through pet stores, breeders, swap meets, flea markets and
mercados for profit. Later, the turtles are dumped illegally into rivers and lakes
as well as dumpsters, flushed down toilets or relinquished to shelters and
overcrowded rescues. It's estimated that
90 percent die.
the bigger problem. Turtles carry salmonella
which can make a child, the elderly and those who are immune suppressed very,
very sick and can even kill them. That's
why turtles less than four inches were banned from sale in the U.S. in 1974 and
still are"tiny turtles easily fit into a child's mouth and children don't wash
their hands after touching turtles. It's
an ugly problem causing nausea, vomiting, bloody diarrhea and even death. A
nine month old baby in Los Angeles
got salmonella meningitis from a turtle after its parents touched it and then
held the baby. We do not recommend live
turtles or tortoises for children under 13 because of salmonella exposure and because
younger children lose interest almost immediately.
have been around for 200 million years and outlived the dinosaur. Is this the way we want to treat our precious
disappearing wildlife? What can you do
to help? Buy Ninja action figures and toys instead of live turtles. Save a turtle's life, and perhaps even your
Susan Tellem and Marshall Thompson, Co-founders American Tortoise Rescue, Malibu, CA