May 23, 2014

“We launched World Turtle Day to increase respect and knowledge for the world’s oldest creatures,” said Susan Tellem, on the group’s website.

Being a tortoise owner, days like this help put animals such as turtles and tortoises in the spotlight, and not only for advocacy purposes. It brings attention to a category of pets that are sometimes overlooked.

Since then, I have kept Russians, yellow footed and red footed tortoises, including a cherry head red footed that I got last year at the National Reptile Breeders Expo in Daytona Beach, Fla. I even rescued two tortoises from an animal shelter in the Hamptons, after parents complained about them as classroom pets.

When people ask me about what pets I have they always want to know what breed of dog, its name and how old it is. They chuckle when I mention the baby Betta fish, and look completely puzzled when I say I have a tortoise.

“Doesn’t that get big?”

“Where do you keep it?”


These are the usual responses I get, before I can start explaining. Once I tell them how they each have a unique personality and characteristics, they usually ask even more questions, including care, food and housing questions.

Carrying turtle and tortoise products in a retail store can be a smart move for some retailers. Owners have made in an investment in the animal, and want to give it the best proper care, which is not cheap.

A quick Google search of tortoise cages show a price range of $99 to almost $500. And, that is not including the decor, special lights, supplements and food. For example, I recently spent about $100 just on a lighting set-up for my tank.

Plus, these products are not something that a customer can walk into a grocery store and buy along with their milk and bread. These are unique items, that a pet retailer can not only carry, but become an expert on, further luring the customer back when they have questions.






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