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Herps In The News Local or national articles where reptiles or amphibians have made it into the news media. Please cite sources.

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Old 05-25-2003, 12:09 AM   #1
Shai Gurl
Angry Silver Dollar Sized Turtles - And other pet shop "oopsies"

Wellp, this is a current issue facing a Wyoming pet shop, the illegal sales of baby turtles - All of which were about the size of silver dollars. I was recently asked by a local shop here to investigate another town's pet store whom many customers had claimed to be selling "baby turtles" that were no larger then a silver dollar. I went in and searched about, finding a few rather disturbing things...

There were no less than 45 baby turtles crammed into a tank without enough room for all to perch ( clambering up into piles 4 turtles, and firebelly toads, deep in some "basking" spots). No real heat sources nor water heaters were in use. I informed them that it was illegal to sell such small turtles (or any turtle under 4 inches), they said it was... I informed the local police that it was illegal, they said it was... I informed the federal health department of the area that it was illegal, they said they didn't know... I informed (transferred by the health department) the DoW that it was illegal, they asked for species then said they didn't know... Finally I was able to get hold of the FDA, THEY knew, and took down all information. The activities are still under investigation, and you bet your bottom that I'm going to keep on that horse to it's end.

Other complaints/problems: Multiple species in with each other...Baby carpet pythons in with the baby ball pythons.

Window Display (6ftx3ft "cage"): 2 9+ft Burmese pythons in with a 3-4ft redtail, in with a rat snake of some kind, in with a tortoise that cannot reach the water (bowl is taller then the tortoise's shell).

"Iguanas" - 2 iguanas in their "display cage" just inside the store's door. NO heat sources nor proper lighting. Both grossly emaciated, and dehydrated. The smaller one has MBD something fierce, and I'd bank on at least 2 broken limbs.

SNAPPING TURTLES: Just inside the door is a 65+/- gallon tank with about 4 (common?) snapping turtles, each of which have a minimum of a 13 inch shell length. They have no basking spots, no place to climb out of the excrement clouded waters. NO heat... Oh, and theres NO COVER ON THE TANK. So people can easily reach right on in. :Puke:

Bird cages kept OVER the reptile cages, allowing the feathers and dander to fall straight on down.

3ft Dwarf Caiman in a 55-65 gallon tank, one half submerged log to try and "perch" and about 5 tank-mates (5-6 inch slider turtles). I wanted to smack the guy after listening in on a conversation where he told a fellow that the critter won't grow any bigger because of the tank and was only recently started in on adult mice for food. (I may not know much about crocodilians, but I know enough that the poor thing had a very skinny tail base and should have been on something larger, and a more varied diet as well, right?).

Like I said before, I fully intend to keep my nose in this, and would like the reptile community's help. I am going to get an article published in the local paper as well as the ones around the state of Wyoming, and would like you (the reptile lovers) to help in writing the local law officials and government bodies for stricter reptile husbandry laws and law enforcement when they're broken. And if any of you out there have any other ideas please let me know.

For legal reasons I cannot publicly write the store's name here (at least thats what I understand), so drop me a line and I'll help out with where to go to find the government addresses, and the store yourself if inclined to do so.

Sara Eyre, CVT

"Of all the creatures, man is the most detestable. Of the entire brood, he is the only one that possesses malice. He is the only creature that inflicts pain for sport, knowing it to be pain. The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to the other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creature that cannot."--Mark Twain
Old 06-08-2003, 07:04 PM   #2
Shai Gurl
Still selling despite the FDA

Wellp, heres a little update for y'all....

They are STILL selling the baby turtles at that pet shop... Only now they're having people sign this little paper with about 3-4 sentences saying that they're buying it "for education and/or scientific research.":Puke: Boy, would I really like to see the thesis papers when they come in.

-Sara Eyre

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