CLACKAMAS, Ore. – Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife officials said they stopped an illegal sale of a turtle on Craigslist.
According to ODFW conservation biologist Susan Barnes, an unidentified woman brought the animal to the Department of Forestry office after she was contacted by ODFW and informed that possession or sale of the western pond turtle was against the law.
Biologists will keep it in captivity, testing the turtle for up to three months to make sure it can't transmit any diseases to turtles in the wild. If the animal is not deemed a suitable candidate for release back into the wild, it will be kept in captivity. Western pond turtles are listed as “Sensitive-Critical” on the Oregon State Sensitive Species List
“All of this could have been avoided if people would have just left this turtle in the wild,” Barnes said.
Barnes said many people don't realize the animals need both aquatic and terrestrial habitat.
“In the case of turtles some people are loving them to death," Barnes said. "As with all wildlife, we’d prefer people enjoy them from a distance.”