Down on the Corner: water turtles sold on Texas street corners illegal reports that baby water turtles are sold on the side of the road all across the Borderland, but not everyone knows it’s illegal to sell them.

Water turtles pose a health risk, according to officials. Even the sale of aquatic turtles at pet stores is a violation of city ordinance. Health officials say they can spread salmonella.

Martin Castellon from West El Paso said,

"When I saw the turtles, they looked pretty cute, and then I thought about my girl and I wonder if she might want a little pet or something like that.”

What Castellon saw was a car parked at the Burger King on North Mesa with a sign advertising water turtles. And he wasn’t the only one who thought they were cute. This seller was open for business but illegally.

When a KFOX crew went up to the sellers they didn’t want to be interviewed and started packing up to leave. We let Castellon know about the situation.

"I did not know that. I’ve just been caught in a crime? Am I being punked?" said Castellon.

For some awesome lip-synching and old-timey costumes, check out the CCR video for Down on the Corner. It’s not about turtles.

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About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Dr. Douglas Powell editor, retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time