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Does the Red-Eared Slider Make a Good Pet?


bronxzoofrank
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Hi, Frank Indiviglio here. I’m a herpetologist, zoologist, and book author, recently retired from a career spent at several zoos, aquariums, and museums, including over 20 years with the Bronx Zoo. The Red-Eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) is without question the world’s most commonly-kept pet turtle. But while these attractive reptiles are extremely responsive to people, many novice owners underestimate the amount of care and space their upkeep requires…and do not realize that Sliders commonly live to age 20+, and often well beyond. Over time, these factors lead many people to release or re-home their once beloved pets. As a consequence, Sliders have become established, in the wild, in dozens of US states and in countries ranging from Brazil to South Africa and Japan, where they are causing ecological havoc. Turtle adoption services and reptile rescues house literally thousands more unwanted pets. Please read this article carefully before buying or adopting a Red-Eared Slider, and be sure to post any questions below. Please also see the linked articles on the care of Sliders, Map Turtles and similar species. Read the rest of this article here bit.ly/1ttQt4J

Please also check out my posts on Twitter http://bitly.com/JP27Nj and Facebook http://on.fb.me/KckP1m

My Bio, with photos of animals I’ve been lucky enough to work with: http://bitly.com/LC8Lbp

Best Regards, Frank

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I had a friend that kept her three red eared sliders by just feeding them and changing their water when it got so dark greenish color that you could not see the turtles sometimes if they are in the right spot in a little critter keeper container that was less than double the length of the largest individual. They were kept where there was sunlight. They grew and lived for a long time and still may be living. They were healthy from what I could tell. Very interesting that they could live like that.

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Should roaches be feed to Red-eared sliders? The biology teacher in the room right next to me has 2 of them, and when I was feeding a roach to the salamander, we decided to offer a couple to the turtles.

They seemed to enjoy the adult dubia (males) but had trouble biting into them at first. They seemed to enjoy eating the bits of fat that floated around after they finally tore them apart.

Is this an appropriate supplemental feed? How big a proportion of the diet can roaches be?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Should roaches be feed to Red-eared sliders? The biology teacher in the room right next to me has 2 of them, and when I was feeding a roach to the salamander, we decided to offer a couple to the turtles.

They seemed to enjoy the adult dubia (males) but had trouble biting into them at first. They seemed to enjoy eating the bits of fat that floated around after they finally tore them apart.

Is this an appropriate supplemental feed? How big a proportion of the diet can roaches be?

Hello,

Dubia roaches and other insects are good foods to offer; just be sure to include small whole minnows etc as these are the best calcium source, best, Frank

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I had a friend that kept her three red eared sliders by just feeding them and changing their water when it got so dark greenish color that you could not see the turtles sometimes if they are in the right spot in a little critter keeper container that was less than double the length of the largest individual. They were kept where there was sunlight. They grew and lived for a long time and still may be living. They were healthy from what I could tell. Very interesting that they could live like that.

Yes..they can survive where many would not...that's one of the resons they do so well when released outside their natural range; they are established i dozens of countries. Many die due to poor husbandry, but a certain percentage are very resilient. best, Frank

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