Ninja turtles all over again

A new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle film is due for release in October this year and the responsible trade is already taking steps in advance to avoid the problems caused last time round.

In the wake of the last round of popularity for this movie franchise, thousands of yellow bellied turtles, red eared sliders and cooters were sold, essentially just cashing in on the popularity of the films. Unfortunately parents were giving in to the demands of the kids without fully appreciating the high levels of equipment, care and maintainance these fairly large turtles require. Irresponsible traders have to bear a lot of blame too for not ensuring the prospective owners knew exactly what they were getting into. Many were selling 50p sized turtles in small tanks without all the necessary equipment for healty growth and without making clear to the the new owners just how big they were going to get and the size of tank required by an adult.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle

As a result, this combination of lack of parenting skills and lack of care from sections of the trade has resulted over the years in sick turtles with MBD and malformed shells and also rescue centres, newspapers and more recently online sites awash with unwanted pets.Probably worst of all, canals and ponds found themselves with new residents as owners who haven’t appreciated what the word responsible means just dumping theirs where they can.

In light of what has gone on before and knowing that often we can talk till we are blue in the face about tank size, UVB requirements, filtration, basking spots etc. but the person in front of us is just not listening, we have decided not to sell any of these species from now until at least a year after the release of the film. Actually we haven’t stocked any yellow bellies or their like for a couple of years but we do get requests for them from time to time. We already get offered unwanted ones on average once a week and the film is not even being promoted yet. This action is inline with calls from REPTA to get importers to agree to a 12 month moratorium on sliders, cooters and other unsuitable species, which we fully support (although we do not sell wlid caught animals anyway).

One last thing I think needs saying. The last childrens’ film involving animals I took my kids to the cinema to see was G Force (the one with the guinea pigs). I was disgusted to see a sales display for guinea pigs from a well known pet supermarket (you all know the one) directly opposite the cinema screen exit, in the old Cineworld in Gloucester. Trying to capitalise on the pester power of kids in this way is just wrong. When they are hyped up on soft drinks, popcorn and sweets and have just seen a high action film is not the time to decide to buy an animal that is going to live for several years and have very specific care needs.These are living animals we are talking about, not sweets at a checkout. Lets hope they won’t try and pull any stunts like that with this new film.

 Please do not buy any animal just because it featured in a film. Do your research first and find out, in advance, what is involved with its lifetime care and remember some animals are going to outlive you if looked after properly. If in any doubt about the long term commitment do not buy. If you are unsure what is involved come and ask us. Ninja turtles are not real, real ones need looking after.

The Angell Pets Team

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