Animal rescuers issue serious warning over "cruel" painting of turtle shells

New South Wales, Australia - Turtles with painted shells might look cute, but this trend can be deadly! Animal rescuers have now confirmed that it's always a bad idea.

The shell of this turtle was completely deformed from a human painting it.
The shell of this turtle was completely deformed from a human painting it.  © Screenshot/Facebook/Monek Monique Carr

Social media is full of pics of turtles with highly decorated shells. People have even bedazzled the critter's shells with stickers and nail polish.

"People sometimes paint them to their favorite football team colors, or they just do it to decorate the turtle," Shane Davis from the Australian animal welfare organization Turtle Rescues NSW told Yahoo News.

While these animals with painted shells may look cute, these decorations can have devastating consequences.

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Turtle Rescues NSW recently shared a few pictures on Facebook showing what happens to turtles that humans gussied up, and the images are shocking.

The first shows a group of cute baby turtles with stickers on their shells, while the second two pics show what happens once the animals grow up with the decorations still attached.

As the pictures show, shell decoration can lead to serious deformities.

Painting turtle shells is "an act of cruelty"

Turtles with colorful shells may look cute, but the practice is cruel.
Turtles with colorful shells may look cute, but the practice is cruel.  © Screenshot/Facebook/Monek Monique Carr

The animal organization explained how the turtle's shell got so deformed, writing, "If you're wondering why this turtle ended up like that, it's because the melted painted plastic sticker obstructs the absorption of the vitamins needed for these species to develop properly, which they get from sunlight."

Davis explained that painting a turtle's shell is always a bad idea because the animal's shells are porous.

"It's not good for the turtle for its shell to be painted at all," he told Yahoo.

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"It is an act of cruelty and can cause illness to the turtle due to toxins in the paint."

While the Australian turtle rescuer has never seen a turtle as horribly deformed as the one in the picture, he emphasized that these decorations could even kill the animals.

Cover photo: Screenshot/Facebook/Monek Monique Carr

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