Reptiles/Turtle release


I have 4 red eared sliders that are about 5 years old.  I love them and have raised them since they were the size of quarters.  I would love to keep them but I just found out that I am pregnant and it's probably not good for me o be leaning their tank.  

I work at a winery where there is a pond with other red eared sliders, would they be okay to live in the wild since they were raised in a tank?

1) NEVER release captive reptiles into the wild.  You can take them to a shelter, a reptile rescue, give them away, etc., but do NOT release them.  It is illegal to do so in many places, and should be illegal in all.  They might transmit bacteria or parasites to wild populations, and they do not have experience avoiding predators or finding their own food.

2) When you get advice on what not to do while pregnant, they always error heavily on the side of caution.  Mostly to the point of absurdity.  Preparing chicken for dinner is exponentially more dangerous than cleaning your turtle tank.  Some 60% of supermarket chicken carries some form of pathogen, and salmonella is a common one.  The only illness your turtle might transmit is salmonella.

That is, of course, food poisoning... which you only get if you CONSUME the bacteria.

So, don't drink your turtle's water, don't kiss or lick your turtle, and wash your hands after handling anything to do with your turtle... and you (and your unborn) will be JUST fine. :P

(I'm a mom of two, and keep reptiles as well... none of us have ever caught anything from a reptile.  From Taco Bell, yes... from a reptile, no). :P

I'm reminded of the fellow whose toddler caught salmonella, and they suspected the culprit was his iguana.  After testing was completed, the iguana was proven innocent - the bacteria had come from the family dog.


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Donna Fernstrom


My particular focus is on snakes and lizards, but I have a decent smattering of knowledge of turtles and crocodilians as well, plus the experience to get relevant information quickly if I don't have it on hand in my brain. I can answer questions on captive care, diet, breeding, incubation of eggs, starting hatchlings, and more. I am particularly experienced with ball pythons, Lygodactylus geckos and other small lizards with similar care requirements, leopard geckos, and garter snakes.


I am a professional breeder of ball python morphs, Lygodactylus (dwarf) geckos, and mourning geckos. I have begun working with Irian Jaya carpet pythons, and plan to expand to include more gecko species in the future. I also have a background breeding leopard geckos, and have kept several other species of small lizards, snakes, and a water turtle.

Nebraska Herpetological Society (

I have many care sheets published on my own website.

High School Graduate. Extensively self-taught due to high interest in wildlife and reptile care.

Awards and Honors
Fauna Classifieds board of inquiry Good Guy Certification

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