Conservationists warn Tennesseans against keeping wild box turtles

Published: May. 29, 2023 at 8:29 PM EDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer, but it’s also nesting season for an animal commonly found in bedroom vivariums.

Conservationists say if you happen across a wild box turtle, leave it alone and do not keep it as a pet.

Joanna Prosser is the animal care director of Walden’s Puddle Wildlife Center. She says even moving a box turtle from one location to another can have deadly consequences for local box turtle populations.

“Their populations are declining across the United States for reasons such as habitat destruction, fragmentation, being moved around and spreading diseases to populations that would otherwise be healthy,” Prosser said.

Prosser says box turtles play an important role in the environment and we need to help them thrive so they’ll be around for more generations to come.

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