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Pet turtles released in the wild have become an invasive species in Ohio

A red-eared slider turtle sitting on a rock half submerged in water.
Greg Hume
Red-eared slider turtles have been having a negative environmental impact on some parts of the Great Lakes region.

One animal that started as a popular, child-friendly pet has become an environmental problem. The red-eared slider, a turtle species native to the South Central U.S., while small enough as a baby, can mature to a much larger size and live for almost 40 years.

Some people returned their pets into the wild, and now they can be found in every part of the country.

A new episode of the "Points North" podcast from Interlochen Public Radio in Michigan explored this problem in Ohio and other parts of the country. We'll discuss the issue with experts on Tuesday's "Sound of Ideas."

Later in the program, we'll share some reporting from Ideastream's Senior Arts Reporter, Kabir Bhatia. He's been looking into book bannings across Northeast Ohio, and whether books are actually being removed from any schools or libraries.

Finally, we'll hear a conversation with NPR's Science Desk Correspondent Nell Greenfieldboyce, who has a new book out that combines her science reporting and lessons she's learned through life.

- Daniel Wanschura, Host, Executive Producer, Points North Podcast, Interlochen Public Radio, Michigan
- Keith Gisser, Executive Director, Herps Alive Foundation, Ohio
- Kabir Bhatia, Senior Arts Reporter, Ideastream Public Media
- Nell Greenfieldboyce, Science Desk Correspondent, NPR
- Drew Maziasz, Coordinating Producer, Ideastream Public Media

Jay Shah was an associate producer for the “Sound of Ideas” until May 2024.
Drew Maziasz is a coordinating producer for the "Sound of Ideas" and also serves as the show’s technical producer.