The Arizona Game and Fish Department is worried that the film ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ will lead to trouble for real turtles.
Officials for the department have said that after watching the film, people might be inclined to buy a pet turtle, an aquatic red-eared slider more specifically, which is the most popular kind and also the kind the four crime fighting turtles mimic in the movie.
Unfortunately, unlike Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael and Donatello, the real turtles can’t take care of themselves and are an added responsibility. They live for decades and grow up to be up 14 inches in size. Unsurprisingly they also don’t perform karate kicks or eat pizza, which makes them considerably less awesome than the buyers might have thought at the time of purchase. As a result, many of the turtles end up abandoned at the closest lake.
“The problem is that one, they may not survive,” said Audrey Owens, a state biologist. “But if they do survive they can be releasing diseases and pathogens into the wild and potentially affecting our native wildlife as well as competing for resources.”
To counter those problems, the Arizona Game and Fish Department has been capturing turtles for nine years. So far 850 have been trapped and most of them were aquatic red-eared sliders.
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