Few days ago, one of my instagram’s friends who also has several turtles, posted a photo of a turtle being painted, it wasn’t her turtle…it belonged to another account. She was only sharing it to say that painting turtles is not okay!

As a turtle blogger, I realize that I haven’t yet written about this issue….and today is the time for me to share about it.

I once discovered a picture of a turtle being painted in one of facebook groups that shares about the love for turtle. This man was so proud of sharing his painted turtle…I was shock, how could someone who claimed to love his turtle was proud of doing such cruel thing? I told him that painting the shell is not the right thing to do.

Unfortunately…he was not the only one who didn’t know about that. My blog is easily found whenever anyone use google with the keyword “training a turtle“…so, I hope this post can also be easily found when people google about caring a turtle.

     No Paint Turtle

Some people might think that the paint and those glitters made their turtle look cuter but they don’t know what that paint will do to the turtles!

Turtle shell is like human fingernails (not in term of chemicals substances which built it, but in term of how it feels toward the things underneath it), it’s like using nail polish on finger nails…Underneath that shell, their internal organs feel suffocate.

Turtle shell, in the wild, is used as protection, that’s why most of them have dark color as a camouflage to the predator, by painting it the turtle becomes so radiant and an easy target for the predator.

Paint is made of chemical and the shell can easily absorb it.

Most importantly, the paint will block UV from the sun…turtles need UV to grow their shell and their bones. I met someone who had a sick turtle, he said that he kept him alive as long as he could by letting him under the sunlight as often as he could. You see, UV makes turtle stronger and healthier.

NEVER PAINT A TURTLE for whatever reason you have!!

If you still want to see a different look on your turtle, make her/him a dress! you can put it on for a while (not all the time because they need to absorb UV). I did it once with my turtle but it was just for a photo, I like their original shell more.

If you are a turtle owner and claim that you love your turtles…then never ever paint them!!

If you don’t have a turtle…please never paint the wild one.

My instagram’s friend I have mentioned above created a new account to let people know that painting a turtle equals Animal Abuse!

Go check her account and see that there are a lot of animal abuse being shared on instagram…her hope is for everyone to stop abusing animals, not just turtles. All the photos I have shared here (except for Kame in dress) belong to her account.

Click on the image

Click on the image

Here are three pictures I chose to share to you!

Parents or adult should teach the right thing to their children!

Never EVER drill a hole in their shell…it hurts them!!

Look how bright the turtle is…his predator can spot him easily!

I know that most of my turtle’s friends are furry animals…but I hope you can help spread the word :)

Here’s Some extra information from some kind readers :)

From Andrew Schiffbauer

  1. Blood poisoning through paint seepage is still a risk.
  2. As is shell deformation as the turtle grows.
  3. There IS a type of paint that is safe for use on turtles – Markal Markers/Paint Sticks, which are used by Marine Biologists to mark turtles in the wild.
  4. In any case, if you DO paint your turtle, even with this safe non toxic form of paint, keep the design small and don’t leave it on long, because of the aforementioned Deformation issue.


Animal Cruelty

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About Novroz

I actively maintained 2 blogs. My personal blog is about things that I love: Turtles, Books, Movies, Music, Larc en Ciel, Muse, Cillian Murphy, The Mighty Boosh and many more. I also help my 3 super cute turtles, Kroten, Papoe and Kurome, to maintain their own blog: https://kamekroten.wordpress.com

82 responses »

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  1. Alicia says:

    Is it safe to paint there finger nails?

  2. Tony McGurk says:

    People probably think they are just making them look nice without realising the danger. Still don’t understand why they’d want to do it though. Some people just don’t think before they act.

  3. rah,a says:

    can i paint it with water color ? not paint colors ?

  4. The Real Cie says:

    Reblogged this on The Netherworld and commented:
    I hope people will spread the word about this. I suppose if one has a pet turtle and wanted to decorate it for Halloween pictures, one could use an easily removed, food coloring based paint and remove it after the pictures were taken. However, as the author shows, it would be best to make an easily removable “dress” for the turtle to pose in.
    I imagine that most people are unaware that the practice of painting a turtle’s shell is cruel. I honestly wasn’t aware of it until I read this post.
    I’m distressed but not surprised to read about the sharing of animal cruelty on Instagram. After all, how many such pictures appear on Facebook? It tends to be like pulling teeth to get Facebook to take them down. However, show a picture of a woman nursing a baby, or a fellow (or gal) showing a bit of butt crack for a joke? That stuff is gone in a heartbeat!
    You Tube also harbors animal abuse videos in its dark corners. I have inadvertently come across both cock fighting and crush videos. I always report these things, sometimes even to the FBI and Interpol, but I don’t know that anything gets done about them.
    If anyone wonders why I’m such a cynic when it comes to the human race, see the preceding statement.

  5. Jess says:

    Okay so I wanted to ask my boyfriend to prom with a turtle with the word “prom” on the turtles back. But after reading this im not so sure. Is it okay to only put that one word on the turtle then wash it off? Or is there any other way I can get the word prom on the turtles back?

  6. Ixel says:

    Fingernails don’t need to breath, it’s the petroleum in the varnish that makes them go yellow. You actually never need to take the varnish off to let them breath. I’m sure you are right in saying you shouldn’t paint the turtle though 😄

  7. Andrew Schiffbauer says:

    Hello, I read your blog and found it very interesting. After doing a little research I discovered a few things:

    1. Turtles do not ‘breath’ through their shells. Their shells are not porous. HOWEVER…
    2. Blood poisoning through paint seepage is still a risk.
    3. As is shell deformation as the turtle grows.
    4. There IS a type of paint that is safe for use on turtles – Markal Markers/Paint Sticks, which are used by Marine Biologists to mark turtles in the wild.
    5. In any case, if you DO paint your turtle, even with this safe non toxic form of paint, keep the design small and don’t leave it on long, because of the aforementioned Deformation issue.

    • Novroz says:

      Hi Adrew,

      Thank you for the additional information :)
      I know they don’t breath through their shell…I was merely comparing it to how it feels when we put on nail polish on our fingers but I guess the way I wrote it gave different assumption to so many people reading this post.

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