Red-Eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans)

Davey joined RWS in the spring of 2018 after her previous owner surrendered her to us. Red-eared sliders are not native to Virginia and she had been in captivity for several years, so she was not a candidate for release. Davey is often the very first RWS ambassador that greets you when you come to our sanctuary. In the summer months, she enjoys living in a big pool right in front of our facility.

Red-eared sliders are semiaquatic, freshwater turtles that spend most of their lives swimming and foraging on plants and small animals in rivers and lakes across the southcentral United States.  It’s common to see these turtles basking in the sun in large groups on sunny days. Turtles tend to be very long-lived animals, and this is especially true if you’re considering adopting a turtle (from a breeder or humane society – never from the wild!). A red-eared slider can live for over 30 years, and many folks don’t plan on caring for a pet for so long. As a result, so many red-eared sliders have been released by owners that they are now invasive in multiple parts of the United States beyond their natural range. This is dangerous for both the turtles, who many not be equipped to cope with an unfamiliar climate, and for the natural ecosystems they are released into.

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