MASSILLON, Ohio (WJW) — A wild woodland box turtle covered in nail polish and glitter and incredibly dehydrated was discovered wandering near a Stark County home.
Immediately taken to the Wildlife Conservation Center in Massillon, the Stark Parks Facebook page announced that a veterinarian was able to remove all of the paint from the animal but that she is currently on a feeding tube and is not yet out of the woods.
Turtles’ shells are not meant to be painted, Stark Parks said, and it is cruel to do so to an animal. The paint impedes their ability to absorb vitamin D from the sun, which can lead to bone issues.
It is also clear that the rescued turtle was at some point captured from the wild before being released. Stark Parks reminds people that wild animals are not pets, and releasing one into the wild “is NEVER okay.” Stark Parks said in its Facebook post that “it is illegal to release even native reptiles that have been held in captivity for more than 30 days due to their potential to introduce new diseases in to the environment.”
Woodland box turtles are also a “species of concern” and it is also currently illegal to keep them without an education permit in Ohio.
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