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Top Eleven Greedy Reasons Not to Buy a WC Turtle or Tortoise - Darrell Senneke
(Reprinted with permission from "The Bridge" )

I am often asked by people why they should buy CB (captive bred) rather than WC (wild caught) turtles and tortoises.  To that end I came up with the following reasons. I intentionally am not mentioning the impact on wild habitats or populations though to many people that is a prime motivator.  People that are sympathetic to the pressures being put on the wild populations do not need economic reasons.  These reasons were formulated to appeal to even the most ambivalent about conservation.

1.   Vet bills - assuming that you do get a semi healthy tortoise or turtle it still will at a minimum needworming and an examination, that is assuming you can find a qualified vet.

2.   The likelihood of getting an animal that has not been severely stressed is nil, at the best you are looking at three year acclimation period before normal behavior is manifested.

3.   Any WC animal you get has almost certainly been exposed to other species. What might be a minor ailment in another species may kill your animal - fast.

4.   How about the possibility of you getting an exotic disease from the WC animal?

5.   Because of stress factors wild caught animals are MUCH more difficult to ever breed.

6.   Exposing your captive bred animal to a wild caught mate effectively negates a lot of the advantages associated with being captive bred. (There was - I can't remember the source - an entire herd of breeding leopard tortoises that was killed by the addition of a couple wild caught animals - AFTER quarantine.)

7.   Why allow anyone to make that kind of profit off you?  In my experience most breeders break even at best, wholesalers and importers make a bundle off YOU!

8.   MORE vet bills

9.   A wild caught collection requires much more or your time to take care of, rather than general husbandry you need to become an expert at disease recognition and prevention.  How much is your time worth?

10.   Wild caught animals are often treated by the importers with various drugs - to worm, fight disease, force egg laying, and generally minimize loss (the "shot gun" approach) - while they are in his hands. He does not care what happens after you have them.  Kidney failure and the like take many WC animals long after they are bought.

11.   Generally a breeder stands behind his or her animals - making themselves available even years later for help.  Importers and dealers could care less what happens once they cash your check.

Some things to think about.  And maybe you will consider paying an extra 30 dollars or so and waiting a few months to get a captively-bred animal.

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