Help save the turtles!

by - June 26, 2010

As a young kid, I've always been very fond of turtles. At the age of 13 or 14 I had my very first red eye slider turtle. It was given to my Mom by her boss and I named it Tortellini, like the pasta! I gave it baths in what you call palanganas? and always made sure it ate. Unfortunately though when I had to go back to Manila, Mom had to give it away to another kid because I couldn't take it home with me. Plus we were scared that if we attempted to caged him and let the airport deal with him, he just might not survive the flight. Story short, I had to let him go.

Last February I got myself our very first family turtle. Its name was Shuwee. He was with us for only about three weeks. He died because of heat stroke. I'm guessing because of the crazy temperature we had last summer. But we really did love him. We cleaned his tank almost everyday, fed him, and occasionally took him out on the balcony for fresh air and change of scenery. He was really unique the way we found him and he was a playful turtle. Still miss him up to now, but I don't want to get a new one. He was special and we'll always love him.

So, last June 5 I saw this documentary that Jessica Soho did on turtles. She talked about how these creatures were treated poorly. Some were being used for medicines, cooked as food and being kept as pets illegally and worst part is being caught in the sea and getting embalmed. I was really disheartened by what I saw. I can't believe how people can do such a thing. It's true when they say that people get selfish when it comes to money and I pity them for that.

After seeing the documentary I thought to myself in what way can I contribute in preserving the life of these wonderful species? So, I made a list---

  • If you want to keep them as pets, make sure that the pet shop you're buying it from is LEGALLY selling them (Licensed pet shop). And also research very well on how to take care of them the right way.
  • Some Chinese restaurants here in Manila kill soft-shelled turtles for turtle soup. Take note, In many jurisdictions, turtle soup is illegal because of the many species of turtle are considered to be endangered or threatened and legally cannot be captured or killed due to the fact that adult turtles cannot quickly recover from the loss of a breading adult.
  • Do not buy embalmed turtles. This is one reason why a lot of sea turtles are being captured at sea and illegally killed.
By these small steps, you yourself can actually help save a turtles life. Let's help make their life spans longer, so that other generations can still see their beauty. A lot of animals now are extinct, let us not add more to that list.

Here are some interesting things you might want to know about turtles---

Because the heart beats under a covering of hair, of fur, feathers, or wings, is it, for that reason, to be of no account?- Jean Paul Richter (German novelist & humorist, 1763-1825)

Photo Source:!
Info Source: Turtle Soup!

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  1. i am not fond of turtles but i do believe in animal rights. peta once visited school and told us that even buying from a pet store, there is no assurance that it's safe for both sides. because sometimes they mass produce a certain breed of animal to earn money. i don't know.. but yeah we should deal things in the legal way.. im worried that my daughter would only see animals in books... scary.

  2. i know right?:( i hope athan would still experience all the beauty i witnessed.


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