‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows’ Mania May Spell Trouble for Real Turtles

For Immediate Release:

1 June 2016


Jennifer White +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 222; [email protected]


Group Urges Parents Not to Buy Turtles Following Film’s Release

London – The fictional stars of the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie may be able to survive an attack from The Shredder’s Foot Clan, but real turtles are much more fragile, which is why PETA is telling fans that the last thing they should do is rush out and buy a turtle after the film’s release this weekend.

Invariably, after the release of movies or TV programmes featuring animals (even animated ones), people get caught up in the fad of buying real-life versions of the celluloid stars. For example, despite the movie’s anti-captivity message, sales of clownfish soared after the release of Finding Nemo, as did sales of owls in the wake of the Harry Potter movies. Later, after realising that it’s difficult to make a lifetime commitment to an animal purchased on impulse, many buyers either ignore their briefly cherished companions or abandon them.

“From abusive dealers, breeders and smugglers to guardians who have no idea how to care for an exotic animal properly, buying a turtle is a bad idea from start to finish”, says PETA Director Mimi Bekhechi. “We can all be heroes to turtles by refusing to support the cruel exotic-‘pet’ trade.”

Turtles and other reptiles sold in pet shops are either caught in the wild (potentially damaging fragile ecosystems) or bred in cramped, filthy breeding mills. The animals are often drugged and stuffed into suitcases so that they can be illegally smuggled across borders. Many do not survive the journey, and those who do usually arrive in poor health.

Turtles are perceived as requiring minimal care, but they have very specific needs, including controlled temperatures, enough water to swim in, a large housing area and a varied diet. Many exotic animals die within a year of purchase because of improper care, but if properly cared for, a turtle may live for 25 years or longer, requiring a serious commitment of time and resources.

For more information about why keeping exotic animals as companions is a bad idea, please visit PETA.org.uk.