Can Sea Turtles Be Pets? (Not Really, Here’s Why…)

Image of a sea

Sea Turtles cannot be kept as pets. They are an endangered species and carry Salmonella bacteria, which is poisonous. This poison can pass onto young children who do not follow stringent hygiene. Moreover, Sea Turtles are not easy to take care of, and it is illegal to have Sea Turtles as pets.

Now that it is clear Sea Turtles cannot be kept as pets let’s understand why they cannot be kept as pets. But first, let us understand…

What Are Sea Turtles?

Sea Turtles are unique creatures that belong to the marine world.

They inhabit large tropical and subtropical sea all around the world.

Sea Turtles are found in various sizes, shapes, and colors. They don’t have teeth.

However, they have strong jaws and sharp beaks.

Female Sea Turtles come to the land to lay their eggs in the sand. So, all Sea Turtles begin their journey from the land.

Olive Ridley is the most common species of Sea Turtles.

Whereas, Kemp’s Ridley is the most endangered species among all Sea Turtles.

Now that you know the Sea Turtle characteristics let us also understand their breathing process.

Can Sea Turtles Breathe On Land?

Sea Turtles fall under the reptile category. Even though they prefer to live in the sea, they still go to the water surface to breathe.

Like all reptiles, Sea Turtles need to breathe air.

When they are swimming in the sea, they regularly come up for air to breathe.

So, Sea Turtles do breathe on land.

Now that you know Sea Turtles can breathe on land, you must be wondering if you can buy one as a pet.

Can You Buy A Sea Turtle As A Pet?

Almost all species of Sea Turtles fall under the endangered list of the International Association.

It is illegal to have Sea Turtles as pets as they are not meant to be confined. So, you cannot buy them as pets.

However, there is an exception to this.

If you are in a state that allows you to keep a Sea Turtle on the condition that you are helping it to survive, then you can keep the Sea Turtle as a pet.

For example, say you are helping the Sea Turtle by rescuing it from some injury.

The best example is the Florida state, where the nearby Sea Turtles get injured sometimes due to jet skis and boats.

In that case, you can take care of the Sea Turtles until they are completely healed.

Once they are cured, you can send them back to their natural habitat, the sea.

Now, let’s understand the various reasons that deprive you of keeping Sea Turtles as pets.

Why You Cannot Keep Sea Turtles As Pets…

Sea Turtles are aquatic species that belong to the sea. They have adapted themselves to live in the sea.

You cannot keep Sea Turtles as pets for the following reasons:

  • Sea Turtles are among the endangered species, and they carry Salmonella bacteria. This bacteria is poisonous and harmful to human beings. The poison can be easily transferred to young children if they do not handle the Sea Turtles properly, and hygiene is not maintained.
  • They are banned, and it is illegal to keep them as pets.
  • They are quite large in size. So a home decorum is not suitable for them. They are accustomed to live in seas where they have the entire sea at their disposal.
  • You cannot simply replicate a sea environment in terms of salinity and vast space that Sea Turtles are habituated to.
  • Sea Turtles bite. They have strong jaws and sharp beaks. Their bite is painful and can result in serious injuries and sometimes broken bones. They usually bite if they sense danger around them.

Why Is The Number Of Sea Turtles Decreasing?

Sea Turtles play an important role in maintaining the ecological balance, mainly of the marine system.

They maintain the nutrient cycle by facilitating the marine food chain.

It is observed that the number of Sea Turtles is decreasing. This is mainly due to the following reasons:

  • The sea and ocean are polluted heavily due to various human activities. This is taking a toll on the lives of Sea Turtles.
  • Their terrestrial habitat is impacted due to rising sea levels, mainly because of global warming.
  • Natural calamities like floods, cyclones, and typhoons have affected marine life.
  • Sea Turtles are killed for their shells, eggs, and skin. In places such as the Cayman Islands, where Sea Turtles breed heavily, they are often killed and eaten in meals.

Alright! That was all about the reasons for a drop in the number of Sea Turtles.

Let’s now see if there are any benefits of having a Sea Turtle as a pet.

Are There Any Benefits Of Having A Sea Turtle As A Pet?

There are no benefits of keeping a Sea Turtle as a pet. It is also illegal to have Sea Turtles as pets in almost all countries.

Moreover, they carry Salmonella bacteria, which can prove fatal to humans.

So, a very high level of hygiene needs to be maintained while handling Sea Turtles, which is difficult to do at home.

Also, keeping Sea Turtles as pets is very expensive.

Since their natural habitat is the sea, you will require a huge saltwater tank and a fairly complex environment in the tank to replicate their natural habitat.

By now, you must be pretty clear that adult Sea Turtles are not meant to be kept as pets.

But what about baby Sea Turtles? Do the same rules apply to them as well?

Can Baby Sea Turtles Be Kept As Pets?

Like adult Sea Turtles, baby Sea Turtles also cannot be kept as pets.

They also have the same characteristics as adult Sea Turtles and are an endangered species.

If you find any baby Sea Turtles, it is best to leave them in the environment to which they belong to.

You can always leave them at a nearby water body by placing them at the edge of the water.

They can then crawl back in the water when they want to.

Parting Thoughts…

Sea Turtles cannot be kept as pets as it is illegal. Also, they are one of the endangered species.

So, it is not advisable to keep them as pets.

This does not mean that you should not show concern for them.

Sea Turtles are part of two ecosystems, namely the coastal and the marine.

So, they should be cared for just like other pets because if they become extinct, it will adversely affect humans too.

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