Capturing turtles not fun and games

Dear Editor,

I am very unhappy about the article, “Buck Creek island this summer’s place to be,” on the theft and confinement of more than 30 turtles by a triplet of the Dorman family and the way in which the article showed this as though this was, or is, a good and positive thing.

The article’s treatment of their criminal environmental disruption of the natural lives of those turtles as just “as Helena children have done through the years” was irresponsible, shortsighted and ignorant.

I do not know what species these children collected, and I am pretty sure that they don’t either. I do know that some Alabama turtles are endangered and some are threatened, and if you can’t identify what species you are hunting or collecting, then you have no business messing with them.

Alabama State Conservation laws state that no one can collect more than 10 turtles a day of any kind from anywhere without a permit and suggest that without proper education and guidance, turtles should never be removed from their environment because they do such important work in helping to keep waterways clean.

Also, don’t you believe that every turtle deserves to remain in its own environment, not to be played with, molested, or removed by children, or adults for that matter?

A turtle that has reached 1 foot wide is a very old turtle and has earned the right to be left alone to live its life as it was supposed to, not as some child’s pet. All those turtles that were collected need to be properly released back into their environment by trained persons before it is too late for them.

Please contact this family and enlighten them to the rules and regulations of our state. Also, I think the Reporter should now publish an article on wildlife conservation and the correct way to interact with wildlife in Alabama waterways, which is to observe, not remove.

By Dan Nathan / Helena