New movie feared to spark turtle fever

Published 08/11 2014 06:40PM

Updated 08/11 2014 06:41PM

It's a concern across the country – a type of turtle fever is being blamed on four fictional turtles.

 The popular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle film is out right now and that has conservation officers worried

people will run to the pet stores to get a real one.

The film should be blockbuster hit with many retailers hoping to sale out of shirts and toys.Turtle sales are also expected to spike.

But it's not a pet that is easy to care for.

"People need to realize that this is a lifetime commitment and this turtle will never be able to be released,” said Janet Littlejohn, Macon County Conservation. “Yes we could have lots of people call us and say can we bring you a turtle we no longer want. "

Littlejohn says there's no doubt that these reptiles are cute.

But they can carry diseases like salmonella.

“It usually turns out badly for the turtle whether it's bought at a pet store or it's picked up out of the wild,” said Littlejohn.

According to a new state law it's unlawful to buy, sell or offer to sell any aquatic or semi-aquatic turtles.

Their eggs can't be sold either.

Littlejohn says many times children forget that like the movie these baby turtles do grow, causing kids to lose interest.

And parents looking for a new home for the pet.

  The founders of American Tortoise Rescue say purchases of pet turtles surged following the release of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film in 1990.



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