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Posted by nathana on April 16, 2003 at 08:32:35:
In Reply to: Re: spotted turtles posted by Kanuck on April 15, 2003 at 12:52:51:
Have you ever seen them outdoors in a large setup?
I won't claim to know if a turtle is "happy" since I cannot communicate with them.
What I do know, is that I am now quadrupling the size of their enclosure and building a very large pond for them. In their current 8'x8' enclosure they use EVERY SINGLE INCH of their space all the time. They use the different plants for different shade at different times. They are at least half the time exploring the land area. I know many people only give spotteds or woods a basking spot, but I could not imagine doing that ever again. My woods and spotteds use their space so much I cannot imagine they would be "happy" with less. Indoors this winter I had to go with the basking spot and a tank. The turtles were lethargic and inactive. Back out in the tail end of winter and even with temps down in the low 40's they were more active outdoors than they were in the tank.
So for myself, I would consider it abhorent to keep a spotted or wood turtle without a huge land area. I'm starting to feel the same about the size of the water area needing to be more than I would have thought before. I could never recommend to another person that they keep their animals in an obviously inferior way such as indoors or without expansive areas to explore, both wet and dry.
My dog could live just fine in my bathtub it's whole life, if I took care of feeding and cleaning it right, but I wouldn't do that either. That's similar to how I view keeping turtles (of almost all species) indoors. For box turtles I know it's downright unhealthy and cruel to keep them indoors unless you have the resources of a zoo to mimic the outdoors to near perfection.