A favourite of the pet trade, this turtle is indigenous to the Mississippi valley of the United States. One estimate claims that 5 to 10 million red-eared slider hatchlings are exported world-wide each year. When small, these turtles are irresistibly cute, but grow quickly to between 12 and 28 cm. Many pet owners are unaware that the red-eared slider turtle may carry Salmonella, a bacteria that causes sickness in humans. At one point, the sale of slider hatchlings was banned because for this reason.