QUESTION: Hello. I have 10 Indian Roofed Turtles. 6 large size (about 3-4 inches long), 2 medium size (about 2 inches) and 2 small size (about 1 inch). I brought them from local pet shop. Now I want to release them in a large local government pond. The pond has green water and there are fishes in that pond. But no one fishes there. If I release them there will ALL of them get food ? Is there a chance that the fishes will eat turtles ? Or which turtles should I release ? All , big ones, medium ones or small ones ? And if any pond's water is black will they get food there too ? Can I release them in a pond where there are no fish ? My dad's returned home and he says we can't keep them anymore plus there's not enough space to keep the big ones. Should I release the big ones only ? because the medium ones are not so big and small ones are very small. I live in Dhaka, Bangladesh and there are no vets or animal rescue centers in my city. One more thing : Big ones are very much afraid of humans , medium ones are also afraid but not so much like them and small ones are not afraid of humans at all. And if the pond is very big won't they get separated from each other ? Please answer all my questions and help me free these animals.

ANSWER: Hello Dipto,

What do you mean by a Black Pond?  I couldn't really find anything about that online.
As far as releasing them into a green water pond, that likely has algae & things for the turtles to eat.  How large is the pond?  Can you release them into a couple of ponds so as not to overpopulate a small pond?  If you prefer to release them all together because they may be from the same family then releasing them into a large pond with fish they will be able to stay in a group of their preference then.
That is fine to release them into a pond with fish, because they should get along fine.  The fish wont bite the turtles.  
I think they would all do fine in the large government pond with the fish, no problem at all.
Do you have any pictures of them?  I looked them up & they can get up to 9 or so inches in length so a decent sized turtle, overall.  Are you not allowed to keep that particular species at home as a pet in Bangladesh?

Let me know how it goes for you.


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QUESTION: Thanks a lot for your clear answer. I myself have visited another government pond yesterday. That pond also has green water and fishes and some trees around. And most surprisingly I have seen some Indian Roofed Turtles in that pond. They were of different sizes. One was about the length of your knee from ground. Pretty big. And there were some of size of your feet. I think it's very clear that they have grown up in that pond because no one would release such big turtle in a pond. Plus that whole area is restricted. So they are completely safe from humans. Now the question is should I release the very small ones (shell 1.5 inch exactly) ? Will they get food too ? Is there a chance that big ones will attack them or stop them from eating food ? And that pond has small woods fallen from trees in water. Some turtles were sitting on it. And that pond has stairs near it too but no one uses it. I have given all the data I have. Please tell me if I should release the small and medium ones (shell about 2.5 inch) ? Please reply soon I have to release them very quick. Thanks again.

ANSWER: Hello Dipto,

One question I had was do you know if they were wild caught or captive bred?
If they were captive bred, it may make it harder for them to survive than if they were wild caught.  Do you happen to know?
I think that the various sizes, mixed, will be fine.  Since they are from the same species & there are others there also I doubt that they would attack the smaller ones any.  
They can eat grass, algae & other various plant & or marine plants available.  Since it is protected against fishing they stand a great chance at survival too.  They would have plenty of food in either pond.
The other option would be to home half of them in one pond & the other half in the other pond, mixing the sizes up so that there are various sizes in each pond.  
It sounds like the ponds are well kept & have adequate water & trees so it would be perfect for them.

Let me know what you decide.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hello Tracie. I can't release them in different ponds or lakes. Because one of these ponds is open to public and completely unsuitable for them. Let me tell you just 2 reasons. People wash clothes and bathe there with soap/detergent at daytime and lunatics+drug addicts SHIT there at night in the dark. So I have decided to release the big ones in the totally protected and highly restricted pond.
I am pretty sure that all of them were caught from the wild and then sold to the pet shop and then to me. But I don't know how long they were kept captive.
I CAN KEEP THE SMALL & MEDIUM ONES UNTIL THEY GET BIGGER. But won't it be better that they get a large space and get food to eat whenever they're hungry ? But if I keep the small ones won't they get used to human given food and take more time to adapt in natural condition ? The big ones (3.5 inch shell) eat only pellets and no fish or meat (or may be very little). But small and medium ones eat almost every kind of food offered. Small ones always grab hold of each other and if kept with bigger turtles try to ride on their back. I have kept all of them in a very big bowl and they are living very peacefully. Will the small ones get food and be eaten or bitten by fishes ? The pond is large enough for all of them. Please tell me if I should release the small and medium ones (1.5 , 1.5 , 2 and 2.5 inch shell) ? I don't care about my pleasure. All I care about is their independence , safety and health. Please reply quickly I have to release them very soon. Thanks again. I'm glad that you are assisting me in this matter.

Hello Dipto,

Oh I see!  Well, you definitely don't want to release them into that particular pond, absolutely not.  That is terrible, not hygienic at all.  
If they were wild caught then they will be fine being released back into the wild like that.  Sure, that would be ideal if they had a larger space & more food.  If there is a larger pond that is kept clean then you can release the larger ones into there right now.  
They will tend to bunch up like that & even ride on each other's backs, too.  Were the smaller ones trying to bite each other or just sticking together?
If they are wild caught, they should have instincts & will have a lower chance of being eaten by fish.  Fish don't really eat turtles though.  It sounds like they are all doing pretty well & eating good, too.
I would just release the larger ones for now, then the others when they get a little bigger, into the same pond.  

Let me know how things are going.


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Tracie Kretzschmar


I can answer questions pertaining to health, UVB specifics, overall husbandry care & supplementation, analysis of blood test results, and behavioral problems & handling. I can answer questions pertaining to bearded dragons, leopard geckos, iguanas, uromastyx & ball pythons. I can answer adeno virus related questions in bearded dragons, & then specifically about the testing methods as well. I am beginning an Pogona Adeno Testing Society in 2008 which will help to begin to start some standardization within the bearded dragon colonies of the breeders who choose to test.


I have been working with bearded dragons for over 5 years now, as well as leopard geckos, too. I am currently doing rescues, as well. I hope to be able to educate people prior to them purchasing an exotic pet in order to avoid any health crisis with them.

I have a master's degree in sports medicine & physiology, & 1 year of vet tech schooling, & am currently working on a reptile certification through the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council.

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