Tempted to buy that tiny green turtle being offered for a mere dollar or two? While Red-Eared Sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans) can make an interesting and responsive pets, their care is far more complicated (and expensive!) than most new owners expect. In perhaps no other animal is the distinction between initial price and long term cost of care so great. Furthermore, the care guidelines offered by many sellers are often overly-simplified and inaccurate. Following is a list of everything you’ll need to provide a proper home for Red Eared Sliders and other species with similar lifestyles (i.e. Map, Painted and Side-Necked Turtles, Cooters), along with notes concerning each item. An in-depth article about Slider care and natural history is posted here.
Do Not Buy Hatchlings!
Although newly-hatched Sliders are still offered for sale, usually at fairs, carnivals and street stalls, it is illegal to sell them (or any turtle less than 4 inches in length) in the USA, and has been since 1975. The law was enacted by the Food and Drug Administration in response to Salmonella outbreaks linked to hatchlings. For further information on the Salmonella- turtle connection, please see this article.
Because Sliders grow much faster than most owners expect, turtle rescue organizations are swamped with unwanted pets. Please consider adopting rather than purchasing a turtle; please post below if you need adoption assistance. Read More »