General Care Discussion :: returning aquatic turtles to the wild

Taking care of your turtle's overall health.

Post Posted: Sun Apr 11, 2021 2:56 pm   returning aquatic turtles to the wild

Exactly one year ago I brought 2 young yellow bellied slider turtles home. They are both the same size, about 3" from top to bottom of shell. They have a 40 gal tank with minnows (who are apparently their friends, because they do not eat them) and a dry enclosure with a large water dish. I have taken great care of them, keeping their water clean, keeping them inside when temps go down to 55 or below outside, making sure they do get outside for plenty of sunshine and swimming when the temps allow, feeding live worms, dried meal worms, a few approved vegs and fruit on occasion. I love them and they love me, and that was all well and good during the pandemic when I wasn't working and had a lot of time on my hands . . . Now I am working about 60 hours per week, and the task of keeping that 40 gallon tank clean (it's outside, so the algea grows pretty fast), etc . . . I really thought of making a pond for them in the backyard, but that requires a good amount of attention work to keep clean as well! I feel the best thing for them is to put them back in the lake I took them from. I know the exact cove in the lake where they were living, so I can put them back there. I am thinking that is best because I am pretty sure they have a homing sense, and would try to travel back there anyway. HOWEVER, I do have a small lake in my subdivision and selfishly want to keep them close to me! But I don't want their homing sense to make them try to travel back to their birth lake, or to travel back to my home and get hit by a car! What is the best thing to do for my turtles?
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Post Posted: Sun Apr 11, 2021 7:21 pm   Re: returning aquatic turtles to the wild

That's a tough decision. I would consult with a local wildlife rescue, they might have a better suggestion. I would probably look into an outdoor setup for them, a stock tank can work well. A UV sterilizer can really cut down on algae, but you should have a lot more water for them. As for releasing them, it's not advisable but I would think they should be furthest away from people.
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