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I had a desert tortoise growing up (Speedy now lives with my parents in their backyard) - he's about 13 years old now. Since they are an endangered species, we had to get a permit and register him with the state of CA. We got him for free from a friend.
When he was little (size of the palm of my hand), he was very cheap to feed - he'd eat veggies and fruit.
Now that he is bigger than the size of a shoe box and weighs about 20 pounds, he eats an entire head of romaine lettuce a day ... plus some apple slices or whatever fruit my mom has around. And tomatoes ...
So it can get expensive.
I wouldn't recommend getting a turtle as a pet just because they aren't fun to play with. Don't get me wrong, they are awesome creatures and they are beautiful. But, they do bite and they have some mighty powerful jaws. Speedy can draw blood and tear skin/tissue away if he really got a good grip on you. He hasn't bit me in years, but thats because I don't go near his mouth anymore. I don't let Danny play with him for the same reason.
Plus, after a while the novelty of a turtle as a pet wears off - especially since turtles can't do tricks, can't be house trained, aren't furry and aren't fun to play with. Kids will get bored after a while.
I had a water turtle growing up. I don't remember having it, because I was young (like 3 or 4). My parents kept it in the garage because the tank smelled so bad. One night, the water froze and the turtle froze to death.
i love turtles, i collect them actually-not real ones! LOL I use to have a box turtle that we found outside for about a week but we let him go, i felt bad keeping him. i dont know of a good one you can buy though.
Well I have box turtles and a red earred slider (water turtle). Out of the two I liked the box turtle the most they dont get to big and they dont stink that badly.. (my water turtle breaks her filter and that water can reak!). As long as you keep up with the maintance of a box turtle (cleaning out un eatten food.. cleaning up spilt water) they arent to hard to take care of. You need to wash your hands everytime you touch them, like with any animal. Its a safer way for both of you! Im not sure if you can still buy turtles some states are saying no and some do not seem to mind. Also do some research before you buy and be sure this is what you want! Good luck on your adventure if you have any other questions please let me know!