As the movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem nears its release, American Tortoise Rescue (ATR) is urging parents to buy toys for their children, not live turtles.
This is the 7th theatrical version of the “Ninja Turtles” series. According to ATR, after the release of the last Ninja Turtles movie, many children frequently asked their parents to buy live turtles as an “impulse purchase”, leading to the tragic loss of many turtles in the pet trade.
“Sadly, when you take a turtle home, put it in a small tank, wait for a performance, and nothing happens, kids abandon interest. The turtle just sits there,” ATR said in a petition.
ATR, the nation’s first national turtle conservation group, recommends that the best thing parents can do is to purchase action figure toys that actually mimic the movements of the ninjas in the movies.
“What I mean is, putting a turtle in a tank is how it would feel if we had to live in a bathtub for the rest of our lives,” ATR co-founder and executive director Susan Tellem said in a press release.
“Sadly, most of these turtles were dumped into shelters and rescue facilities, or into lakes and waterways (or worse, toilets) after young fans of the film learned that real turtles don’t fight crime or do incredible stunts.”
Terem says buying live turtles has had dire consequences for thousands of creatures, especially red-eared sliders.
ATR says these turtles should only be taken in by individuals with private ponds that can mimic their natural habitat.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem hits theaters across North America on August 2nd.
Coverage for this article was paid for through the Afghanistan Journalists in Residence project funded by Meta.