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.

Hi Paul,

This is one of those questions that I needed a few days to consider, because there are just so many things wrong with it, and I really had to think about my reply.

First of all, keeping multiple turtles requires a certain level of experience.  More turtles need more space, better filtration, close observation at feeding times, etc.  10?  Vastly more space, more attention, more equipment.  I have to ask, why on earth would you get TEN turtles when you are clearly not experienced with them?  How are you keeping them now?  That many turtles need a collective space of about 500 gallons, and I'm just guessing that they're housed in far less than that, which means they're overcrowded and susceptible to disease.

Second, releasing captive animals is environmentally irresponsible.  In captivity, turtles are potentially exposed to different pathogens than in the wild, and releasing them may expose the wild populations to diseases they don't have immunities for.  It may even be illegal for this reason.  So it's something I always advise against.  When you buy a pet, you're responsible for it, for life.  Releasing animals you don't have room or patience for is not the responsible way to deal with the situation.  Don't get a pet unless you're willing to keep it, and have THOROUGHLY researched the care first.  

Since I assume you're going to release them anyway, look for a pond that is large, preferrably manmade, appears healthy, and away from other natural bodies of water (like a city park), so that the turtles are less likely to mingle with wild populations.  It doesn't matter if there are fish in the pond, as long as there are plants, etc.  The turtles are omnivores and will be able to find food.  They will have to cope with predators, but that's natural behavior.  Turtles are not social animals.  It doesn't matter if they're separated.

If you decide to keep any of the turtles, keep this in mind:  they can grow up to 9" long, although most will probably be in the 6-7" range.  The small turtles won't stay small unless they're sick.  That means EACH turtle will require at least a 60 gallons of space, with filter (external cannister filter capable of handling twice the tank's capacity), basking/UVB bulb, and a varied diet that includes pellets, animal protein, and greens/veggies.  You'll need to do partial water changes once a week.  And you can't skimp on any of this, because if the turtles get sick, you have no access to vet care.  Healthy turtles require ample space to bask and swim, good filtration, UVB, and a good diet.

I can't tell you what to do.  This whole situation is really a mess, and there doesn't seem to be a good solution, so good luck whatever you decide.  Just please, next time you want a pet, THINK HARD about it.  What you want isn't important--what the animals need, and whether you can provide it, that's what's really important.  


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Questions regarding husbandry of Russian tortoises and other Mediterranean species, sulcata, and redfoot tortoises; general tortoise and turtle care; box turtle care. If I can't answer a specific question, I can provide sources for further research. Disclaimer: My advice is not a substitute for vet care. If I think your tortoise/turtle has a specific medical condition or injury that warrants a vet visit, I'll tell you so, and if possible I'll help you locate a vet. It is neither legal nor ethical for me to provide veterinary advice.


I have kept and bred Russian tortoises for over ten years and have other Mediterranean species plus redfoots and box turtles. I've worked with other tortoise and turtle species while doing volunteer rescue work; mostly sulcata but some leopards, California desert tortoises, yellowfoots, all box turtle species, red-eared sliders, etc. I don't personally keep aquatic species, but have access to a wealth of information and research to help you with any questions you might have.

My knowledge is based on hands-on experience keeping, breeding, and working with tortoises and turtles.

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