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Name:  Bob
Status:  other
Age:  40s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2000-2001


Question:
My son recently found a small snapping turtle in the middle of a mall parking lot that he took home on put in his fish tank. The turtle is doing fine but I have heard that turtles are dangerous to keep due to diseases they carry. Can you please advise on this? Also, I wonder if this turtle has to hibernate every year in order to survive. Thank you for your help.


Replies:
Small turtles sold in stores were once notorious carriers of salmonella bacteria, which can be serious. Sale of turtles under a certain size was banned primarily for this reason. It is always possible for a turtle to be carrying salmonella or other bacteria, but if the turtle is handled as little as possible - which is best for it too - and hands are always well washed after handling, there isn't much danger. A captive turtle will likely get sluggish in fall and winter and eat less, reacting to decreased daylight, but does not need to truly hibernate.

J. Elliott


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