The red-eared slider is a common turtle of the eastern US that is often found in many of our local pet stores. Unfortunately, some pet owners illegally release their turtles when they outgrow their cages or they accidentally escape. These turtles now occur in many of our local ponds, marshes and wetlands. Although they are primarily aquatic, some turtles will cover large distances to find suitable grounds for laying their eggs, or in search of a new pond or marsh. As a result, they are sometimes confused with the desert tortoise since they are about the same size. These turtles have a much flatter shell, and the coloration on their face and legs, as well as their webbed feet and long pointy claws should be a dead give away that it is a turtle and not a tortoise.