Zoological parks have helped to save some turtle species from almost certain extinction. Some of these are large or brightly colored tortoises that provide good public exhibits. There is also a huge trade in turtles as pets. Turtle farmers in Louisiana and elsewhere have provided millions of baby red-eared sliders (Trachemys scripta) to the pet trade. However, some turtle farms became contaminated with disease microorganisms such as Salmonella, and the sale of baby turtles was made illegal in many states.
Some rare species of turtles and tortoises are being bred and reared commercially, and can bring prices of more than $2,000 each. Europeans and Americans are major purchasers of captive-bred turtles. However, wild-caught animals are also being illegally sold, and this is an extremely serious risk to the survival of rare species.
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