Can you imagine a turtle eating a plastic bag because it thought it was a jelly fish? A look at the photo from the Melbourne Zoo shows that’s exactly what has been happening all over the world. Do a Google search for “turtle plastic bag” and you will find thousands of pages detailing how marine life, not just turtles, are suffering from our careless use and discarding of plastic waste. While I’m finding articles dating as far back as 2000, I still see plenty of present day articles and blogs discussing how this is still a very serious issue with no end in sight if we don’t get actively involved.
Now you might say that the easiest way to effect change is to request paper bags when grocery shopping. However, while paper bags degrade in a month’s time (versus the 500 to 1000 years it takes for a plastic bag to degrade), the energy usage to create that bag is enormous, not to mention that we are quickly cutting into our earth and losing all the lovely green scenery that we tend to enjoy.
So what’s the answer? Responsible consumption. That, of course, will be an individual decision and while we would all probably like to be completely green, compromises may have to be made. For me, I was already reusing the shopping bags from my grocery store trips in waste containers all over the house. I’ll be switching to using a reusable canvas tote bag to do my shopping, but still use garbage bags to dispose of my waste. Once I use all my shopping bags, I’ll probably switch to containers that don’t allow for trash to get stuck in them (right now I have wicker trash baskets in the house), so that I can dump the trash into one main bag easily. To me, it’s worth all the effort if it will help save our marine life.
If you’re interested in more information on plastic bags, their life cycle and how they are affecting turtles, marine life and our environment, please visit these resources:
So what are you going to do to reduce your use of plastic bags?
Red-eared sliders love water. Allow them plenty of swimming space. A heat source and light for basking should be given if unfiltered sunlight is not available. Providing a basking log and a transition section so that your slider can move back and forth from basking to swimming with ease.
Temperature and Humidity:
It is recommended that warming water be at least twice the turtle’s shell length, at a minimum. Temperature of the warming water should be about 75-86 degrees F and a large basking site are essential for red-ear sliders. Be sure to provide ample lighting and humidity.
Red-eared sliders are mainly carnivorous as juveniles, becoming more herbivorous as adults. The young eat water insects, crustaceans, mollusks, and tadpoles, then turn to a plant diet as they mature. The most important dietary requirements are vitamin D, calcium, and phosphorus, which are necessary in sufficient quantity and in the correct proportions to form the bones and shell of a growing turtle, without which the shell would become soft and deformed.
Their diet is somewhat varied, so they can be feed worms, snails, water plants, fresh vegetables, and small pieces of raw meat. (As a side note: Raw meat should only be fed as a treat, since it is high in fat and grease soils the tank quickly.) Commercial prepared dry turtle food is acceptable as long as it is used in a well-balanced diet.
Cleanliness & Health:
Aquatic turtles, by general nature, are messy. It’s best to inspect your turtle thoroughly before purchase from a breeder or pet store. Other possible health problems include both internal and external parasites.
Further Information and Related Web Site: