Her name is big mama. Isn’t she beautiful? read the rest of this post just so I can pretend I did anything good for Big mama, and this rescue, since I couldn’t take her home.
This was the only rescue present (that I saw anyway) at the expo. It gave me quite the perspective. I learned from my Tortoise mailing list that many rescues don’t bring live animals to expos because they don’t want to encourage impulse buys (and I can see how that can happen… I wanted to take all these cuties home with me). Instead, rescues prefer to give out information on the proper care of the turtles and torts so as to prevent (at least some) of the abandoned animals they receive because people don’t know what they are getting into. Makes a lot of sense yeah?
Well heres a good example. Big Mama is a red eared slider. She’s gorgeous and quite large. I learned, from this experience, that the female RESs can get this big if not larger! I didn’t realize that. This is why, as I learned from the very kind and wise experts on the mailing list, they are second most abandoned turtle after the sulfate. People adopt these beauties when they are small as can be and don’t realize they need so much space and can grow to be so big. Its heartbreaking really.
So here’s my PSA: 1: Do research before you adopt a turtle or tortoise! make sure you can provide for them when they grow up. The rescues around the world do their best to care for the abandoned beauties but there is only so much space. If you’re going to take one home make sure you know how to give them the proper care.
2. TRY A RESCUE! before you go to a breeder, or a pet store (which you should definitely not do unless you are POSITIVE they are not wild caught.. which they will lie to you about… I don’t regret zoya ever I’d never do it again knowing what I know now), look for a local (or not so local but one that can ship) rescue. Doing that you’ll help two fold, saving a turt or tort in need and making space for another abandoned animal in need. If not go breeder! Many turtles and tortoises in chain pet stores are wild caught which is a process painful for the animals (the ones that survive) and you are likely to end up with a sick baby 🙁
Anyway, end of my rant but HEY! You New England Turtle/tortoise Lovers? Big Mama needs a home! as far as I know she has not been adopted! Think you can give her a good home? Committed to doing it? DO IT!
Check out the cuties at the Upper Valley Reptile Group and give Big Mama a good home if ya can. If I was at all financially or physically capable of providing real proper care I would be loving on her forever. But, I’m committed to giving zoya the best life possible and living on ramen noodles so she has fresh greens always. This means no more shelled babies for me. Anyway, Check out Big Mama, and the Upper Valley Reptile Group. Support your local rescue, and hey a MAJOR heads up to Julie and the TURTLE RESCUE OF LONG ISLAND, along with Joe from Carolina Pet Supplies (with great, well researched, supplies for your torts and turts… reasonable shipping too!) and all the great people on the Russian Tortoise mailing list who have provided a great place where you can ask questions, read others’ experiences, and share great stories about your amazing animals.
I credit these groups for teaching me everything I know (though they are not responsible for all the stuff I don’t known hah). Without their support Zoya might still be in a glass tank with rabbit pellets as substrate and a crappy UVB lite. Within the first weeks of getting Zoya I found this group and learned and changed everything about how i’d been caring for her. I think about this ostentatious mountain climbing tortoise in a glass tank and I have to laugh sadly. That was in no way a large enouh space for my little wanderer. AAAaaaand I’m babbling..so Support your local rescues, education fascilities, and herpetological foundations, they are incredible incredible resources for our shelled friends.