Turtles are one of the most appealing animals of the reptile world. There are no ‘effort free’ animals to keep as pets, and turtles are no exception. Along with the pleasure of owning a turtle comes the responsibility to provide the best possible care for it that you can. Their survival is in your hands! If basic guidelines are followed, then your turtle should thrive in captivity. Turtles are renowned for their longevity and may live for up to thirty years. Most Australian freshwater turtles are very timid and shy, but within time will lose their fear and become accustomed to you and will recognise where their food comes from. There are many stories of keepers being amused while watching a turtles’ antics in their aquatic enclosures, and some go as far to say that they each have their own recognisable personalities.
There is NO such thing as a ‘Penny turtle’ in Australia. This was merely a generalised term given to at least four species of turtle hatchlings including the Mary River turtle, the Saw-shelled turtle and the Southern-snapping turtle that were sold in pet shops and department stores in the 70’s. The poor husbandry advice given most often led to the turtle becoming ‘stunted’ or even dying.