Turtle Back Zoo Raises Awareness on Caring For Pet Reptiles
Turtles and Tortoises Require Long-Term Commitment
(October 16, 2012 – South Orange, NJ): The Turtle Back Zoo is raising awareness about keeping and caring for turtles and tortoises as pets in an effort to curtail the issue of people discarding unwanted animals. Each year, zoos receive hundreds of requests to accept turtles and tortoises their owners no longer want. The Essex County Turtle Back Zoo wants to help people understand how much time and effort goes into caring for these pets to help them make informed decisions before deciding to purchase one.
“Turtles and tortoises can live for a very long time, often over 30 years, and some can grow quite large,” said Dr. Jeremy Goodman, Director, Turtle Back Zoo. “Zoos often cannot take the animals due to lack of space for these long-term species, and there are not enough rescue facilities to meet the public demand for getting rid of unwanted pets.”
Goodman recommends doing the proper research on raising a turtle or tortoise, including finding out whether it is legal to keep one in the state you live in. Having an understanding of what it takes to care for these species can help determine whether a person is willing to commit to caring for the animal for the duration of its life. This includes ensuring the animal receives proper veterinary care.
The most important point to stress is to never release a turtle or tortoise into the wild. Besides being a federal offense if the species is non-native,it can devastate local turtle populations through the spread of disease and competition for food. Turtles that have been held in captivity long-term are also very vulnerable and will not survive in the wild, and releasing means certain death. There is a novelty factor that comes with owning a turtle or tortoise, but these animals have special needs that must be accounted for.
Press: For more information, or to schedule an interview, please contact Lori Faigin at The S3 Agency at (973) 257-5533 or
About The Turtle Back Zoo
Turtle Back Zoo, New Jersey’s #1 Zoo, is AZA-accredited and features over 800 animals from around the world. Turtle Back Zoo is part of South Mountain Recreation Complex, located in West Orange, NJ. Opened in 1963, Turtle Back Zoo is committed to providing an enriching recreation experience that fosters excellence in wildlife education and wildlife conservation for present and future generations.